I thoroughly agree with the basic tenets of the feature “I shouldn’t really be here” (9 January). A group of us at the European Association for Institutional Research recently identified that we all held a deep belief that we would be “found out for the frauds we are”. We referred to this as “inadequacy syndrome”.
However, I believe that the underpinning message of the article, that this is primarily a current issue, is wrong: I have felt this way since I started teaching students in the early 1990s. Perhaps it is also an element of humility – only the arrogant have an unshakeable view of their own value and influence.
I do not feel fraudulent…just outraged. Malcolm Tight’s analysis “Are Academic Workloads Increasing? The Post-War Survey Evidence in the UK” (2009) of 10 national work surveys undertaken since 1963 shows that the average UK academic has had a 55-hour working week since the early 1970s. Tight reports that “not only are academics expected to teach larger classes and research and publish more but they are also expected to document and justify all of this activity, filling in forms and undergoing evaluations”.
Many of the activities that are required for good academic delivery are unseen, unrecorded, unrecognised and unrewarded; thus the “cost-effectiveness” of educational “delivery” is predicated on recognitive injustice. Well said, Ruth Barcan.