Academic staff of the Faculty of Arts get free working hours

Starting in September, academic staff of the Faculty of Arts will be given eighty free working hours a year.

They can use these hours for things such as training, consultations, or administrative tasks, but also to pause their teaching activities for a block.

This means academic staff (assistant professors and above) can choose to save up the annual hours and take a ‘teaching sabbatical’ once every five years. It would allow them to not have to teach in a connected ten-week block.

In doing so, the faculty board is fulfilling a long-held desire of academic staff: to find a way to have more dedicated research time at a faculty where teaching activities lead to a lot of stress.

Easing workload

The new plan also helps lecturers who don’t have any research time. They will automatically get eighty fewer hours of teaching duties every year. They can then use these hours for activities such training or administrative tasks. These are things that still often lead to overtime because of the high workload.

Those who do have research time can choose each year whether to save the free teaching hours for a sabbatical or do whatever they want with them the following year. Staff who have already been working for the faculty for five years in September do not have to save up for a sabbatical but can opt for one straight away.

Sector plans

The new plans are being financed with the extra money the faculty received from the government’s sector plans. The board is using it like this so all academic staff can benefit.

The faculty board is satisfied with the decision. ‘I think these plans are a good opportunity to get more dedicated research time,’ says chairman Iva Pesa. ‘With our busy schedules, it is important to get some time to think and write. In that sense, the plan meets our expectations.’


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