Cambridge lecturers accuse university of ‘explosive workloads’

Staff complain of low pay amid pressure to deliver institution’s famous one-on-one tutorials.
By: | March 1, 2022

Cambridge University lecturers are accusing the institution of pressuring them into taking on “explosive workloads” to deliver its famous one-on-one tutorials.

A survey of university teaching officers (UTOs) by the University and College Union branch found that a third (35%) felt they could not refuse requests from peers and superiors to take on extra weekly tutorials, or “supervisions” as they are known, even though nearly half of those surveyed said they would like to deliver fewer of them.

Michael Abberton, the president of the UCU Cambridge branch, said: “The supervision system is not working for anyone in its current set up. It exploits casual workers, who need to earn an income and accumulate teaching experience. It overburdens permanent staff, who are already under the pressure of explosive workloads.

“The university and the colleges cannot keep on denying that the system needs urgent reform, with imp

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