Interview in Higher Ed Report by QS
Since my burnout, I have been contacted twice for an interview about my course on Happiness at the University of Amsterdam. As I had to quit the course halfway, due to burnout, it felt a bit awkward to discuss it (two marvelous colleagues took over, of which one was the original creator of the course, Max van der Linden, who actually deserves all the credit).
This time, it was the illustruous organization that delivers the global rankings of universities every year: QS in Singapore. They wanted to write an article about the latest craze of happiness and well-being at universities, and how the Covid pandemic impacted students’ well-being. Given the importance of the topics, I talked for an hour with the interviewer – hoping that I could not only critically talk about neoliberal and HR-versions of ‘happiness’ on universities, but also on the wider context where genuine needs for (mental) wellbeing come from: the productivist university where students are increasingly treated and pressured as consumers, and lecturers jump from temporary contract to temporary contract.
Alas, these remarks didn’t make the final article 🙂 The article does provide an overview of the importance of putting well-being on the agenda of university administrators. And I get referred to as dr. Ties, which sounds a lot better than dr. Van de Werff 🙂