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Minister Harris launches national survey on work-related experiences of staff in higher education institutions

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Monday) launched a national survey on the work-related experiences of staff in the higher education sector.

The survey, funded by the Department, will be conducted by researchers at the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre and it will be sent to each of the more than 30,000 higher education staff members in Ireland by their institutions.

The online survey will ask about the experiences of staff currently working in Irish higher education institutions and will remain open for a number of weeks. Respondents will be asked to reflect on their experiences of interacting with other staff and students over the past three years in the course of their work. The survey aims to explore different individual and organisational factors, such as social interactions at work, work demands and institutional policies that contribute to shape the work environment within higher education institutions.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “Since I was appointed to this brief, one of my top priorities has been ensuring a safe and respectful environment for both students and staff in our higher education institutions.

“I am pleased to be launching this national survey of work-related experiences among higher education staff today, which will help inform policy and best practice in the sector, and I look forward to the student survey early next year.

“I would really encourage all staff to have your say as part of this national survey so that we can learn from your experiences on the ground, and keep building positive institutional cultures that are respectful, collaborative and supportive. 

“Please rest assured that your responses will be anonymous, and that your participation will be helping to tackle inappropriate behaviours in the workplace.”

Prof James O’Higgins Norman, Director of the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre, said: “There is increasing anecdotal evidence that suggests that bullying among staff in higher education may be an issue and as such it is important to undertake a study to ascertain how significant this problem is so that appropriate responses can be put in place. DCU Anti-Bullying Centre is very happy to partner with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on this project”.

Dr Angela Mazzone, Postdoctoral researcher at the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre said: “Higher education institutions’ participation in this online survey is essential to gaining a comprehensive understanding of the workplace experiences of the higher education community.”



Notes to the Editor


Dr Angela Mazzone and Prof. James O’Higgins, researchers at the DCU Anti-Bullying Centre, are leading this research study with support from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.


The aim of the survey is to gain a deeper understanding into the experiences of bullying and cyberbullying among and between higher education staff and students in Ireland, including the current prevalence, nature and effects of these issues. The survey of staff work-place experiences in higher education is launching today, while a survey of student experiences will follow in Q1 2022.


The National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre is located in DCU. The Centre is known globally for its research excellence in bullying and online safety, and is home to scholars with a global reputation as leaders in the fields of bullying, cyberbullying, and digital harassment. Over the past 25 years, researchers attached to the Centre were the first in Ireland to undertake research on school, workplace, homophobic and cyber bullying, and many other issues related to bullying and digital safety. The Centre hosts the UNESCO Chair on Tackling Bullying in Schools and Cyberspace and the International Journal on Bullying Prevention.