Just a glass will get the answers flowing

September 8, 2006

Charitable giving or self-indulgence? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was the latter that the majority of university staff plumped for when asked what would motivate them to respond to an online questionnaire, writes Tony Tysome.

Three fifths of respondents opted for the chance of luxury goods or experiences as an incentive rather than for a £150 donation to a charity. A draw for a case of fine wine proved to be the most popular carrot among the less charitable types, with 40 per cent of staff selecting this as their preferred freebie.

Professors, readers and chairs turned out to be the keenest wine buffs, with 57 per cent going for the vino. They were also the least generous, with just under a third choosing a donation to charity.

Staff in Russell Group institutions were also more likely than those in non-Russell Group institutions to choose a case of wine (54 per cent) and to indulge themselves (73 per cent in total) rather than to give to a good cause.

A fast-car experience was the most popular among principals and senior lecturers (11 per cent), and appealed least to professors, readers and chairs (3 per cent), and senior management (5 per cent).

Of all employees, researchers are the most likely to opt for being pampered in a spa (18 per cent).

  • For The Times Higher survey on career plans, respondents were entered into a draw for a prize of their choice: a case of wine, a trip to a spa, a donation to a charity or a fast-car experience.

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