Euro Survey Finds British Academics Have Highest Dissatisfaction Levels

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11th October 2012 19:29 - Education


A European-wide survey of more than 13,000 scholars from 12 countries has revealed that British academics are by far the least satisfied with their lot in life and are also the most likely to wish they had chosen other careers.

On a scale ranging from 1 (very high satisfaction) to 5 (very low satisfaction), senior academics from Britain averaged a 2.61 – this compares to the Republic of Ireland (2.47), Portugal (2.33), Croatia (2.0) and top-scoring Switzerland (1.92).

Junior academics were found to have even less satisfaction levels, with those in the UK the least happy at 2.77, in contrast with their most satisfied peers in Croatia (2.13).

When asked "If I had to do it again, I would not become an academic", 22% of British senior staff and 30% of juniors agree. Furthermore, no other respondents across the countries polled more than 20% to this question.

In addition, 61% of senior scholars and 56% junior academics in Britain describe their job as "a source of considerable personal strain”, while at the institutional level junior UK respondents feel they have less influence "in helping shape key policies" than those in any of the other countries surveyed.

The study therefore indicates that UK academics are suffering from increasing stress levels as a result of heavy workloads, management problems and longer hours than many other counterparts in the rest of Europe.

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