While the official figures are lower than earlier estimates of job losses, they also show certain types of employees – casual, non-academic and younger staff – bore the brunt of the staff cuts.
After 50 years as a university teacher, researcher and student, Raewyn Connell wrote a book, The Good University. Today, universities face a more toxic set of challenges than she has ever seen before.
Ending workplace sexual harassment means going beyond holding perpetrators to account to address a ‘network of complicity’ that enables unethical conduct.
Research in universities and businesses experiencing persistent sexual harassment shows non-disclosure agreements can have negative effects on workers and their organizations.
Changes to National Employment Standards have done little for casual staff hoping for conversion to ongoing positions. A comprehensive review of university work and employment is long overdue.
While 18 universities suffered medium to high financial impacts, the incomes of eight increased or were stable. Overall revenue fell 5% – less than feared – but 35,000 staff lost their jobs.
In democratic societies, truth matters and institutions are expected to be accountable when they stray from it.
When academics were asked to draw, write and reflect on their career journeys, the results were revealing. While men were free to focus on their careers, the picture was more complicated for women.
The pandemic is forcing many academics to consider their future. These are tough times for universities and many have lost jobs, but those fortunate enough to have a choice should weigh up all options.
It is the work of social scientists to understand how societies operate and, based on that knowledge, how populations can apply evidence-based solutions to the challenges of the 21st century.
The world today needs a critical understanding of religion, not a return to the historical tradition of universities dominated by faith-based study.
Workplace stress among academics has long been higher in Australia and New Zealand than overseas, and research suggests the flow-on impacts on students could fuel a vicious cycle of negative feedback.
Australia has gone backwards in global gender parity rankings, with even universities, which should be leading the way, failing on this front. But women are now saying enough is enough.
The budget splashed out extra money for almost every sector deemed important to economic recovery (or politically sensitive). But with universities in a state of financial crisis, they missed out.
You might expect progressive policies in our universities, but a parental leave system of primary and secondary caregivers – the first 93% women, the second 96% men – perpetuates the gender gap.
Treating online education as a cheap alternative to lectures will be a mistake. At first universities will probably have to allow more preparation time and invest more in training and technology.
On International Women’s Day, universities should resolve to lead the way in reshaping workplace rituals, rules and routines to advance gender equality and ensure safe workplaces.
International Women’s Day is a time to take stock of what has been achieved and what remains to be done. 2020 was a massive missed opportunity to improve gender equity among university leaders.
Universities have legitimate reasons for employing some staff on casual contracts, but the impacts of the COVID pandemic have brought long-standing problems to a head. Now is the time to act on these.
To navigate the toughest phase of their careers, junior academics need to know more than how to write research papers and apply for grants. Structured mentoring, based on their input, is a huge help.
More than a dozen Australian universities have been publicly accused of underpaying staff. Some have paid millions in backpay after audits. And a big factor in wage theft is the rise of casualisation.