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My workload, your education

My workload, your education: a joint statement by UCU and NUS

Research shows that excessive workloads can lead to increased stress, greater absences and personal health issues for those effected.

Yet recent surveys show that workload is increasing for staff in further and higher education, particularly as a result of the recent waves of redundancies.

26% of further and higher education staff work in excess of 50 hours a week during term time; 75% describe their job as stressful; and 46% say their work involves unrealistic time pressures.

Excessive workloads can also have a detrimental impact on students and learners and the quality of their education, including upon student contact time, the return of marked work and class and seminar sizes.

The effective management of staff workloads is therefore an education issue.

We believe that well motivated staff with time to attend to their students properly are at the cornerstone of a decent further and higher education system.


UCU calls for every university and college to agree a new joint approach with them to the issue of academic and related staff workload, including regular monitoring to ensure staff are not overloaded.

NUS calls for every university and college to ensure there are sufficient staff in place to provide a decent education, ensure students and learners receive the attention they need and that staff are not overworked.

UCU and NUS agree to support each other in these objectives and to encourage mutual respect and support between students and staff.

Sally Hunt        Liam Burns
UCU                    NUS

Last updated: 13 November 2017