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The impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns on the work of academic staff at higher education institutions: an international assessment

Leal Fihlo, W, Wall, T, Lange Salvia, A, Vasconcelos, CR, Abubakar, IR, Minhas, A, Mifsud, M, Kozlova, V, Lovren, VO, Azadi, H, Sharifi, A, Kovaleva, M, LeVasseur, T, Luetz, J, Velazquez, L, Singh, P, Pretorius, R, Akib, NAM, Savelyeva, T, Brandli, L , Muthu, N and Lombardi, P (2024) The impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns on the work of academic staff at higher education institutions: an international assessment. Environment, Development and Sustainability. ISSN 1387-585X

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The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the life of millions of people around the world and brought changes in many contexts. In higher education institutions, teaching staff had to quickly adapt their teaching and research practices and revisit learning and student engagement strategies. In this context, this paper aimed to report on how the lockdowns influenced the work and lives of academic staff at universities. The methodology consisted of an online survey that collected 201 responses across 39 countries worldwide, and the results were explored using descriptive and exploratory modelling analyses. The findings reveal that the main positive aspect of the work-from-home experience during the lockdowns was the reduction of time spent on commuting, while the inability to disconnect and difficulties in work-life balance were the most commonly indicated negative aspects. The principal component analysis indicated that the pandemic had a moderate power in boosting academic staff towards sustainability, and an important potential of revising academic curricula and teaching-learning relationships. Based on the evidence gathered, recommendations to allow academic staff to better cope with the influence of future pandemics include the increased use of digital resources and new teaching styles, curricula revision for encouraging educators to include more issues related to sustainable development in their teaching, and greater institutional support to reduce stressful conditions and improve productivity.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV697 Protection, assistance and relief
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 10:50
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 15:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s10668-024-04484-x
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22234
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