Teacher audit

April 8, 2005

* Name: Beverley Milton-Edwards

* Age: 39

* Job: Reader, School of Politics and International Studies, Queen's University, Belfast.

* Salary: Reader/senior lecturer scale

* Qualifications: BA (Hons) in politics from Portsmouth Polytechnic, MA in political economy and international relations of the Middle East and PhD, Exeter University.

* Working hours: I am a full-time member of the academic staff. I am currently on sabbatical, but I normally teach seven to nine hours a week at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

* Number of students taught: I lecture to groups of up to 200 and give tutorials to groups of about 12. Administration and research means that I regularly work five days and two evenings a week.

* Biggest challenge this year: Obtaining research funding for my area of interest - dimensions of politics in the Middle East and Islamic politics.

* How did you solve it? I attended university courses on how to apply for research funding and joined in on collaborative research proposals as well as putting forward my own research proposals.

* Your office space: It is beautiful - a large office in a Victorian listed building. I have lots of bookshelves and great information technology facilities.

* University facilities: I don't use any university facilities - childcare waiting lists were so long that my children had started school before they were offered a place in the staff creche; parking fees are too expensive, so I cycle in; the staff common room club was closed down and the sports centre is full of students. Who wants students watching you either flail around in a cossie in the swimming pool or all puffed out and red in the face on the treadmill? The Queen's Film Theatre is brilliant though.

* Socialising: Fortunately, there is good craic to be had across Belfast, so I am not forced to seek out the company of colleagues. I tend to socialise more with former students than colleagues.

* What is the social life like? Worthy - in terms of the evening quizzes and poetry readings and so forth that used to be held at the now-defunct staff common room.

* Most difficult students: Students who, before the ceasefires here, carried more political weight in the paramilitary community than intellectual weight in the classroom.

* Best excuses for bad behaviour: "Sorry, I couldn't make it to class today because my mummy forgot to wake me up to get me to the tutorial on time." This was for a tutorial that started at 2pm.

* Interacting with other departments: I interact with lots of other people around the university - they are a good bunch.

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