Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Academics teach just six hours every week - I wish!

Here's a headline I hate - Academics teach just six hours every week. This is an article in last Friday's Irish Independent by Education Correspondent John Walshe. The headline suggests that we are all lazy bastards who have finished our week's work at 3.00pm on a Monday afternoon, and spend the rest of the week doing nothing at the taxpayers expense. However, when you read the article, the first sentence is as follows:

ACADEMICS teach for an average of six hours a week, university presidents admitted yesterday.

Ah - that's a bit clearer, Walshe means just University academics (from the seven universities) and not the rest of us from the other THIRTY SEVEN Higher Education Institutes in Ireland (see full list here). I am currently timetabled for 13 hours per week, which is lower than most of my colleagues in the Institutes of Technology where many are timetabled for 16-18 hours per week. I wish Walshe and all education correspondents would realize that when they write headlines like above, they are painting us all with the same brush. While universities are quite rightly regarded as being at the top of the education tree, they are not alone in the third-level sector. Balance please Mr Walshe.

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