The future of Britain's higher education sector will be shaped by academics now in the early stages of their careers. But the voices that are heard most often are those of the old guard, who have spent a working life in the sector. For the first time, The Times Higher has surveyed the opinions and aspirations of academics in their twenties and thirties to establish their particular concerns and views on university life. ICM Research surveyed 318 academics aged under 40 in a telephone poll of university staff in Britain, revealing the clearest picture yet of their views
Young academics appear to be generally satisfied with the training they receive from their employers. Overall, 63 per cent said they had had sufficient training, with the under-30s slightly more positive than the 31 to 40-year-olds.
Lecturers at Scottish universities felt better prepared for their work (74 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing) than their colleagues in England and Wales (63 per cent and 57 per cent). Senior lecturers were more likely to criticise their training than either more junior or more senior colleagues.
Overall, the large minority who felt inadequately trained identified administration and teaching as the two weak areas in the support given by their employers.
Of those who felt they had not received sufficient training, just under two-thirds pointed to administration and 62 per cent to teaching as problem areas.
Predictably, older and more senior staff were more likely to complain about the disregard for training for administration, rising to 100 per cent at reader/professor grade.
Eighty per cent of Scottish lecturers said they had received insufficient training in postgraduate supervision, compared with 51 per cent of all the under-40s surveyed in the poll.