After covering the challenges of living in the UK, it’s time I talked about working for the UK higher education system.
What are the challenges?
1) Working for a completely different system than the one you’re used to: well, being originally from Greece, one can anticipate that the education system I knew is much different to the one I work for. Terms like “income generation”, “research commercialisation”, “business development” and the like are simply unknown to the Greek education system, where higher education is free for students, solely government-funded, but consequently, of generally lower quality.
2) In line with the above – explaining my job to friends and folks: one of my most awkward moments when I visit my home country is when people ask me, “So what is your job?”. It’s impossible to give them a short answer which they will understand such as “I’m an accountant/doctor/lawyer/teacher/secretary/you name it”. I have to go into a speech describing my main responsibilities the simplest way I can, and I never mention my mouthful of a job title because the only thing this can serve is prompt more questions.
3) Working in the UK public sector: like with any public sector in the world, there are some key challenges which can sometimes make work harder. Among the most important ones, I would mention the occasional obsession with bureaucratic procedures, the numerous departmental policies that sometimes contradict each other, the lack of decisiveness in departmental decision-making, and the resistance to any sort of change.