The Telegraph reports that university students can often be found working late into the evening, scrambling to finish their assignments by dawn. But at Queen Mary University London (QMUL), it is the “overworked” lecturers who have been burning the midnight oil, after they were caught sleeping in their offices overnight.
This week, academic staff were warned by the university’s management that if they continue to stay in university buildings during the night they could face disciplinary action, citing health and safety concerns.
The circular, seen by The Daily Telegraph, states: “This is not acceptable practice and is and is potentially dangerous given that we do not have the required level of fire detection to alert people sleeping in these buildings.”
“If anyone is found sleeping overnight in our academic buildings, they could be liable for disciplinary action.”
Professor Tim Bale, a lecturer in politics at QMUL, said that many members of staff are “overworked” and that their jobs had become “all-consuming”.
“There is a problem with overwork among academics, but it’s difficult to talk about because of the popular impression that we get paid very well for doing not that much,” he added.
“[Academics] can end up spending an awful lot of their so-called free time actually doing work. I know it is something that universities recognise is a problem.”
Have you found yourself nodding off at your desk? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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