Staff morale falls in ex-polys

June 23, 1995

Surveys of staff attitudes at two former polytechnics have found serious criticism of management at both universities.

A Natfhe survey at the University of Westminster found that 42 per cent of lecturing staff described their own morale as low or very low and that nearly three-quarters had experienced a deterioration in morale since joining. "Poor management" was identified as the main reason.

A survey at Middlesex University by the independent Institute for Employment Studies was more positive.

"Most staff enjoy the work they do, have good relationships with their managers and identify positively with the university," it concluded.

But it also found a strong feeling that the university is too bureaucratic. When staff were asked about communication and consultation their views were negative.

Both studies found that staff feel under work pressure. At Middlesex staff were evenly divided over whether the university had improved as a place to work over the past three years. At Westminster about three-quarters identified "time pressure" and "work overload" as big problems.

At Westminster, 87 per cent of respondents failed to identify any one from within the university to take over from rector Terence Burlin when he retires. Nearly a fifth said the relocation of parts of the university to Harrow in Middlesex created poor morale.

The Natfhe survey there was based on a questionnaire sent to all full-time academic staff and to part-time lecturers where possible. Of the 263 responses, most were from full-time staff.

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