How are UK unis staffing?

Understanding recent trends

Between 2005 and 2017, The total number of teaching-only staff in universities rose by more than 50 per cent – increasing at 3x that of teaching and research positions. What drove this change, particularly at research-intensive institutions?

Over the same period, the number of senior managers and non-academic professionals increased 60%, numerous non-academic functions were outsourced and others brought into centralised departments. What drove these changes, which, in terms of real staffing numbers, led to an actual decrease in non-academic staff numbers?

Key resources

Wolf, A. “Is the University Workforce Fit for Purpose?” YouTube. The Policy Institute at King’s College London.

Wolf, A., & Jenkins, A. (2020) Why have universities transformed their staffing practices? An investigation of changing resource allocation and priorities in higher education. Retrieved March 22, 2022.

We would recommend for the session reading section 1 (introduction) and the section 3 (non-academic staffing) for the discussion.

For a related view see:

Frank, J., & Gowar, N. (2020). Universities in Crisis … only more so. Higher Education Policy Institute.

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