I put some citations from this Times Higher Education article below.
The article is an interesting read clearly stating that many researchers face too much workload today with some helpful thoughts to switch habits to maybe reduce it. However, rather than adapting personal practices sometimes it might be more beneficial to most if not all involved parties to adapt systemic pressures that command the adaptation of the personal behaviour. Most stories though lost sight of the systemic aspect it seems.
"In the evenings and weekends, I found myself constantly working on grants to keep my small team’s research alive. Weeks went by without touching an experiment, then months. Although at first it was flattering to be at the centre of things, the atmosphere soon took a sinister turn. Deadlines began to gather over my head, sucking away my oxygen. My diary slowly turned black, each square containing a dense list of tasks in increasingly small fonts. The weekend squares, once relatively free, began to take up the overspill, elbowing out the fulfilling, personal tasks I used to do much more of: writing, public engagement and political activism."
"The bottom line in academia is really just a question: how much stress can you tolerate in life? That will dictate how you manage your activities."
We had some discussion about immigrants and how to integrate them into German academic system.
In Saarland at the moment there's a program which is as follows:
- candidates attend a scientific exam
- if they pass, they'll enter a free program in which they also learn German language
- after a year they start as a normal student at the University of Saarland.
In the last session of exam, only ~37 attended and only ~7 passed. Apparently the exam was in German. The suggestion is to have the exam as a multiple choice exam, and in several languages from which candidates can choose. The exam should assess their scientific abilities as well as their language skills, According to the result of the exam they'll put into appropriate levels of language learning, after which they can start at the university.
There's a national university entrance exam in Iran every year, which I experienced myself. It's by no means perfect, but it's cost effective and possible to implement quickly for our purpose. We'll further look into it.
I'll also check if there's any concrete plan to integrate immigrants into MPS, and if so, we'll use the information in the leaflets we propagate later.
I had a meeting with GEW Saarland today. We talked about this issue.
They'll translate the GEW registration form into English, and add appropriate items in the form that we can relate to, e.g. PhD candidate, PostDoc, etc.
We'll collect English material that already is available in GEW, and add the related ones which can be found on the web in English, e.g. German labour law and immigration policies, and use them in GEW stands in University mensa to engage international students.
They will also try to find appropriate English speaking lawyers for tax forms and immigration issues, to at least give the information to members, if not offer the service for free to members.
Peter, the head of GEW Saarland, will talk about our ideas and issues in their meeting with other GEW branches in other states of Germany, to initiate an English language newsletter as well as federal level English registration form.
They will also decide on how and under what category to add PhD candidates and other academics, and how much to charge them as members.
I know we're all supposed to learn German as we live here, but a big portion of researchers are internationals who don't speak German.
We need to provide them relevant English material to engage them in the activities we have.
Here we shall start puting links to already translated materials, and links/names of documents that we need to get translated.
How should the work of a researcher be evaluated? The Leiden Manifesto for research metrics proposes 10 important points of an evaluation process and discusses good and bad practice.
Here you can find a video illustrating the proposition of the Leiden Manifesto:
Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE) hat eine Petition gestartet zur Verbesserung der Arbeitsbedingungen in den Erziehungswissenschaften mit einem Aufruf zu konkreten Handlungsvorschlägen teilweise Angelehnt an den Herrschinger Kodex der GEW.
Bitte unterstützt die Petition.
David asked me and Debshanka to set-up a board as a networking platform for the many initiatives in Germany (and possible abroad) that work on higher education policy. We chose this one, nodeBB, because it's fast, has many features and is also quite optimized for mobile reading.
If you have any feedback or feature requests, just use this thread.
Some techy stuff:
Drag and Drop a photo, drag to position, and hit Save