9 May 2019 • HOP, Inge Schouten
Despite the workload, university of applied sciences staff members are more satisfied at work
Over 75% of university of applied sciences staff members are satisfied or very satisfied with their job in education. But the high workload remains an important issue and communication in the workplace also leaves something to be desired.
Compared to 2016 the percentage of satisfied staff members increased slightly once again from 78 percent to 80 percent, as revealed in the bi-annual report (pdf) published by university of applied sciences labour market foundation Zestor. The study is based on answers from more than 9,000 staff members from 16 universities of applied sciences. These numbers represent a higher than average score for the education sector. The average in the Netherlands shows that 71% of staff members are satisfied or very satisfied with their work.
According to the respondents, the following three themes are the most important: ‘quality of the degree programme’ (scores an average of 7.6 among all respondents), ‘quality of the university of applied sciences’ (7.1) and ‘collaboration within the university of applied sciences’ (7.1).
The quality evaluations vary enormously per institution. One university of applied sciences scored an 8.5 for quality, whereas another scored 6.3. However, the report doesn’t name the individual institutions. The report also reveals that staff members of smaller universities of applied sciences are more satisfied about the quality of their educational institution than their colleagues at medium-sized to large universities of applied sciences.
Of all the surveyed staff members, 28% stated they are able to give the best of themselves. That percentage is also higher compared to the rest of the employees in the Netherlands (7 percent). Only 9 percent of respondents said they owed this potential to their university of applied sciences. “Apparently university of applied sciences staff members feel they can be the best they can be, but they mostly accomplish this through their own efforts,” according to the report.
Workload satisfaction scores a relatively low mark (an average of 6.8). 53% of lecturers felt that the workload was (too) high, compared to 30% of support staff. Most complaints relate to the allotted time for work duties. Teaching staff evaluate this more negatively (mark: 5.2) compared to support staff (6.7). The same pattern can be observed in the evaluation of a balance between work-private life (6.3 compared to 7.5).
Another area for improvement is collaboration with the team. Around 36% of staff members state this could be improved. They are mostly dissatisfied with the way in which colleagues address each other about their responsibilities and the openness of communication.
It’s also noteworthy that staff members are moderately satisfied with the Staff and Student Council. At large universities of applied sciences the mark is lower than at smaller schools.