REF year saw more on teaching-only contracts

More academics were employed on teaching-only contracts around the time of the research excellence framework deadline, new figures show

December 18, 2014

Some .1 per cent of academic staff employed at UK universities on 1 December 2013 were on a teaching-only contract, compared with 25.2 per cent at the same point a year earlier, according to data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency on 18 November.

Overall, some 52,575 staff were on teaching-only contracts, up by nearly 5,780 on 2012-13.

Conversely, the proportion of staff on teaching and research contracts fell from 51 per cent in 2012-13 to 48.6 per cent in 2013-14, the Hesa data show. Overall, the number of teaching and research staff remained roughly the same, falling by just 120 staff from 2012-13.

In total, 8,500 extra academics were employed at UK universities in 2013-14, up to 194,245 people in total, which represents a 4.7 per cent rise.

Nearly 2,000 more people were employed as a professor in 2013-14 compared with 2012-13, the figures also show. The number of professorial staff rose from 17,880 in 2012-13 to 19,745 in 2013-14, a 10.4 per cent rise.

About a quarter of professors (4,415 or 22.4 per cent) were women, slightly higher than the 21.7 per cent reported in 2012-13, Hesa says.

Overall, the number of staff employed in the higher education sector rose by 3.5 per cent in 2013-14, up to 395,780.

A total of 75,040 academic staff were employed on atypical contracts in 2013-14 – up by about 1,000 on 2012-13. A further 31,840 non-academic staff were also employed on atypical contracts.

The latest Hesa figures were published alongside contextual data for the REF, whose deadline for submission was 29 November 2013.

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Reader's comments (1)

Essential Reading on this serious issue (Open Letter signed by 40 academics on 25 April 2012) For the record, no reply was ever received. Two further thoughts on the Times Higher Education reporting of the REF: There remains a difficulty with the improved tables produced where the university 'game playing' becomes obvious: some managers may have played even "harder ball" serving with full dismissals those academics not fitting their box-ticking for inclusion in the REF. I ask how such degradation of academic standing could be factored in. I also ask whether we can ask the Times Higher Education to rank the Universities on spinning of the outcome! My favourite so far: Last week our University was named in the top 10 multi-faculty universities for research in the UK! - this proposition linked to the University's own announcement as no independent observer has made any similar pronouncement so far… As I said - when academics don't tick the box they see the sack, when managers don't tick the box, they tick it.