My prof is a bit stinky, snooty and very unhip

January 27, 2006

Stuck-up, disorganised and unclean, with terrible dress sense and illegible handwriting. This is how lecturers are summed up in the responses to a poll that asked university students: "What really annoys you about academics?"

Almost 650 of the 1,093 students e-mailed this month by Opinionpanel Research were eager to offer their low opinions of lecturers. Their replies serve as a stinging rebuttal to a Times Higher poll earlier this month of academics' frustrations with students.

Student respondents to the new poll complained that academics were "snooty", failed to turn up to lectures, had "objectionable facial hair"

and assumed undergraduates were lazy. Academics' "poor" information technology skills, "inadequate" essay feedback and use of double negatives also came in for criticism.

Several found lecturers' attempts at being hip insufferable. One said:

"They pick up 'street' information from the media and decide they understand today's youth. It is pathetic to talk about these things to us in the hope of seeming knowledgeable and cool."

Another complained that academics had a "lack of respect for other universities, especially those that ran art courses".

One respondent felt aggrieved that academics "played games on lab computers" when students were waiting to use them.

Another fumed: "They always look down on students, they always judge and have a lack of hygiene. Seminars revolve around the academic's new book, which is not only impossible to read but should come with a noosed length of rope so that if by any misfortune you made it all the way through, you can finish yourself off... every aspect of their measly little lives irritates me."

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