Article in British Journal of Sociology of Education on “pandemia” and the impact of COVID-19 on HE academics

Yesterday we had a paper published in the British Journal of Sociology of Education, linking to our wider work looking at the impact of COVID-19 on education, but more specifically one of the big outputs from our recent survey looking at the impact of COVID-19 on health and wellbeing in academia. This presents the outputs of a major empirical study of the perceptions of academic faculty on the impact of COVID-19 on universities in the UK, conducted in the summer of 2020 and encapsulated by the idea of “pandemia”, and links to our recently-published paper looking at the Irish HE context.

The abstract of our paper is below; you can access the full paper online, or via my institutional repository:

‘Pandemia’: A reckoning of UK universities’ corporate response to COVID-19 and its academic fallout

Richard Watermeyer, Kalpana Shankar, Tom Crick, Cathryn Knight, Fiona McGaughey, Joanne Hardman, Roger Chung, Venkata Ratnadeep Suri and Dean Phelan

Universities in the UK, and in other countries like Australia and the USA, have responded to the operational and financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic by prioritising institutional solvency and enforcing changes to the work practices and profiles of their staff. For academics, an adjustment to institutional life under COVID-19 has been dramatic and resulted in the overwhelming majority making a transition to prolonged remote-working. Many have endured significant work intensification; others have lost — or may soon lose — their jobs. The impact of the pandemic appears transformational and for the most part negative. This article reports the experiences of 1099 UK academics specific to the corporate response of institutional leadership to the COVID-19 crisis. We find articulated a story of universities in the grip of ‘pandemia’ and COVID-19 emboldening processes and protagonists of neoliberal governmentality and market reform that pay little heed to considerations of human health and well-being.

British Journal of Sociology of Education (2021)

(also see: Publications)

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