Education news

Queen's University plays down staff survey findings

Queen's University Belfast

QUEEN'S University has played down the findings of a survey which suggested a "toxic management culture" caused academics to leave.

The University and College Union (UCU) contacted staff that left between 2015 and 2017 - 85 completed a survey on their reasons for leaving, while 12 provided interviews or written statements.

One in four said they received a better offer from another university while 90 per cent stated their "current working conditions are better than those enjoyed at Queen's".

Pressure of workload and poor relationships with management were cited as reasons for leaving. The management culture, the document said, was "widely seen as toxic and punitive, overly focused on a reductive understanding of the university as a business".

Queen's said it had implemented changes since the UCU survey was carried out including a new People and Culture strategy.

"Queen's University is committed to promoting and providing a positive and enriching work environment. In April 2016, some 2,479 staff participated in a staff survey which was facilitated by an independent external consultant. This compares to 85 leavers who contributed to the UCU Exit Survey," a spokeswoman said.

"The university, in partnership with its staff, is implementing a comprehensive action plan in response to the priority areas identified in the staff survey. In addition, a new People and Culture Strategy has been developed and launched to further enhance the work environment."

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