Undervalued, not overqualified

December 21, 2007

In my Society for Research into Higher Education conference paper on reshaping the academic workforce, I wanted to draw attention to the thousands of teaching and research academic staff with a PhD who were after the last RAE classified research inactive, and also to the thousands of PhD-qualified academics on teaching-only contracts. My concern was that, after getting a PhD, they might not have the opportunity to undertake research as part of the work they are employed to do. I did not intend to imply that teaching was a second-best option. With hindsight, I realise that the term "overqualified" was inappropriate, not least because of the value for teaching staff of a research qualification to help them as reflective practitioners. My apologies.

Stephen Court, Senior research officer, University and College Union.

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