We are academics, but we are also…

In the pressure of the publish or perish mentality, an insidious culture has emerged where a work-life balance is frowned upon, working a 40+ hour week is celebrated, and supervisors keep any semblance of hobbies, interests, family or a life very, very quiet. This is detrimental – to the academic, to their colleagues and to their students. This has worsened during the pandemic – in a time when people are having to juggle work, family and their homes more than ever, academic burnout is on the rise. Increasingly, there has been push back to academics taking pride in overworking, and more importantly, in encouraging their students to follow these toxic work habits.

To normalise academics and postgraduate students embracing a work-life balance and celebrating their non-work-related topics, this month in the SAYAS blog we are celebrating the things that our bloggers do outside of their research and postgraduate studies. To kick this off, the SAYAS blog co-editors discuss this problem, and re-introduce themselves without discussing their academic titles or accomplishments. Watch our video below:

This conversation started in January, during our first meeting with the 2021 bloggers. We each introduced ourselves to the group, and then realised how narrow and repetitive those introductions were. These themes emerged again and again as we worked together as co-editors, sharing voice notes between walks in the park, dance classes, and those last few edits on a paper. Recording this is a reminder to ourselves not to glamourise a toxic work culture, and to share our multi-dimensional lives with our students.

Jennifer and Roula

Don’t squander the Stem switch-on

via The Mail and Guardian

Prof Mmaki Jantjies, Associate Professor of Information Systems at the University of the Western Cape, has written a piece for the Mail and Guardian urging us to capitalise on the opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented in forcing a digital migration in Education.

Prof Jantjies was elected to SAYAS in 2020, and holds a Y1 rating from the NRF.

You can read her article here.