Academics teach just six hours every week
ACADEMICS teach for an average of six hours a week, university presidents admitted yesterday.
But they stressed that 'class contact' hours accounted for only a small portion of their overall working week, which averages more than 50 hours.
UCC President Michael Murphy said a survey in the Cork university indicated that academics there taught on average 180 hours per year. This works out at six hours per week over a 30-week academic year. But preparation meant it could take 3-4 hours for each hour of teaching, he said.
Both he and TCD Provost Dr John Hegarty told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee that six hours was normal in universities in many countries.
But Fianna Fail TD Brendan Kenneally said that while it might take three to four hours to prepare for one hour of teaching in the first year of a new course, less time was spent on preparation in the second and third year. He and Labour's Roisin Shortall called for greater transparency.
The call was endorsed by the chief executive of the Higher Education Authority Tom Boland.