Access to drive a hiring bonanza

July 29, 2005

Tens of thousands of extra academic and administrative staff will be needed in English universities in the next five years as student numbers continue to grow, a report on staffing trends concludes, writes Tom Wainwright.

The report, for the Higher Education Funding Council for England, predicts that 7,000 to 12,000 academic recruits a year may be needed between 2004-05 and 2010-11, of whom 6,000 will be needed simply to replace those leaving the sector annually.

Universities may need to hire as many as 20,000 academics if the Government meets its target of getting 50 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds into higher education. If student numbers continue to grow at current rates, this would be about 10,000 new posts.

Similarly, the report estimates that 30,000 extra professional and support staff will be needed in 2010-11 compared with 2003-04 if the Government is to meet its target. Universities will need to recruit about 22,000 staff to keep up with current trends.

The report estimates that there were 125,000 academics and 153,000 professional and support staff in English academic institutions in 2003-04.

The proportion of academics aged 50 or older remained static between 1995-96 and 2003-04, but the proportion of those aged 55 or more rose from 16 per cent to 23 per cent.

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