Nearly half of Victoria’s academics are unhappy with their jobs, with most blaming mounting administration and corporatisation in the workforce according to a study conducted by Victoria University (VU) and the University of Melbourne.


The study, led by Dr James Doughney from VU’s Centre for Strategic Economic Studies and Dr Nick Fredman from Melbouurne University’s LH Martin Institute, found dissatisfaction among academics had reached “troubling levels” and was continuing to rise.


“Australian academics don’t generally appear to be satisfied with their work, and seem particularly unhappy with their senior managements,” Dr Doughney said.


The survey of 1,400 academics from the state’s nine universities explored managerial culture, workloads, work status and self-perceived productivity and showed more than 40 per cent were dissatisfied with their job.


The report found that over 60 per cent of academics were dissatisfied with senior management, while 65 per cent were unhappy with higher education policy directions, saying that sector was “more focused on the bottom line” than student outcomes.


Dr Doughney said that while dissatisfied with management, academics are happy to work more productively , but not if they see the aim as profit-driven instead of intellectual.


The study also found that more than 70 per cent said they had a bigger workload now than two to five years ago, yet just 10 per cent thought university’s provided a better standard of education now than two to five years ago.