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Academic ‘incompetence’ creating workload for colleagues

A lack of clarity in university job descriptions combined with the “wilful incompetence” of academics is contributing to a hidden workload in higher education, a report has claimed.

According to a working paper from the Centre for Global Higher Education published this month, the pastoral care of students is one aspect of academics’ workload that is frequently mentioned by scholars as “not being accounted for” in their job description.

“There were also concerns over poor performance, or what one person called ‘wilful incompetence’, by peers,” the report says, adding that because some scholars “don’t do things well”, it results in the “‘stealing’ of academic time” as others are forced to pick up the pieces.

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