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Fall in staff well-being must be 'wake-up' call for universities

29 April 2020

The number of university staff being referred to occupational health and counselling has shot up in the past decade.

The report, from the Higher Education Policy Institute, shows a drop in staff well-being at all universities that provided data, with all institutions showing increases in staff accessing counselling and occupational health services.

Responding to the report, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'These figures must act as a wake-up call. Universities need to understand this is a real problem that must be dealt with, not excused or underplayed. Staff constantly go above and beyond, such is their commitment to their work and their students, and we have seen that again in their magnificent response to the Covid-19 crisis. But enough is enough.

'As this report makes clear, stress, and its causes, are deep underlying problems that universities have failed to get to grips with. These issues were at the heart of our recent industrial action, have not gone away and must be an urgent priority for universities. It is time for universities to look beyond the short-term and work with us to properly deal with the increased workloads and stress levels that blight higher education.'

Last updated: 26 June 2020