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Introduction - Staff in Higher Education 2016/17

Staff population

The HESA Staff record covers all academic and non-academic staff who have a contract of employment with a higher education provider in the UK, or for whom the HE provider is liable to pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions. Other staff - such as those employed under consultancy contracts, or on the basis of payment of fees for services but without a contract of employment - are not included in the record.

The Staff return covers data supplied by 164 HE providers. One of the English HE providers, The University of Buckingham, is a non-publicly-funded HE provider voluntarily providing data to HESA.

Throughout this introduction, unless otherwise stated, staff numbers exclude atypical staff. From 2015/16 onwards, non-academic atypical staff are excluded from the coverage of the record and are not included in this publication. All figures provided in the introduction tables and text are based on full-person equivalents (FPE; headcounts) rather than full-time equivalents (FTE; weighted by proportion relative to full-time). Where data has been disaggregated by contract characteristics, such as activity, the FPE figures have been apportioned across the contract(s) held by the staff member.

File Table A shows the overall pattern of staffing in UK HE providers, including academic atypical staff. In 2016/17 (that is, on 1 December 2016) there were in total 419,710 staff (410,130 in 2015/16) in the HE sector, of whom 284,060 were full-time staff (277,055 in 2015/16) and 136,650 were part-time staff (133,070 in 2015/16). In addition, there were 71,960 academic atypical staff (72,015 in 2015/16).

The total number of academic staff in 2016/17 was 206,870 (201,380 in 2015/16), an increase of 2.7% between 2015/16 and 2016/17. Of the academic staff, 138,405 (66.9%) were full-time and 68,465 (33.1%) were part-time. Chart 1 below illustrates the distribution of all full-time staff by activity (sourced from File Table A).

Chart 1 - Percentage of full-time staff (excluding atypical) by activity 2016/17

Almost half (48.7%) of the full-time staff population were employed on an academic contract, compared to 50.5% for part-time staff. A further 16.1% of full-time staff were employed within non-academic administrative and secretarial occupations and 12.8% were employed within non-academic associate professional and technical occupations.

Mode of employment and sex

Overall, females made up 54.2% of all staff and 48.1% of the academic atypical staff population. Almost half (47.9%) of all full-time staff and over two-thirds (67.5%) of all part-time staff were female.

For academic staff, the proportion of females were 45.7%. For full-time and part-time academic staff, the proportion of females were 40.7% and 55.6%.

Chart 2 below provides the proportions by sex and activity of full-time staff (sourced from File Table A).

Chart 2 - Sex of full-time staff (excluding atypical) by activity 2016/17

Chart 3 provides equivalent data to Chart 2, but for part-time staff (sourced from File Table A).

Chart 3 - Sex of part-time staff (excluding atypical) by activity 2016/17

Across all activities, there were higher proportions of female part-time staff than male part-time staff, except among process, plant and machine operatives for which there were 35.5% females compared to 64.5% males.

File Table B and File Table C respectively provide a breakdown of academic and non-academic staffing in HE. Atypicals have been excluded from these tables as the majority of the data is not collected for atypical staff.

Chart 4 below provides the proportions of full-time and part-time academic staff by academic employment function (sourced from File Table B). Most full-time staff were in teaching and research (58.9%) whereas part-time staff had a majority in teaching only (59.3%).

Chart 4 - Distribution of full-time and part-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by academic employment function 2016/17

Salary

The salary ranges have been defined with reference to the nationally negotiated pay spine for non-clinical staff. Salaries for part-time staff are not reported to HESA as pro-rata amounts but as salaries scaled up to full-time equivalent rates.

The highest proportion of full-time academic staff (36.0%) had contract salaries between £44,240 and £59,400. This differed for part-time academic staff with just under half (43.9%) having lower contract salaries between £32,958 and £44,240.

Chart 5 below illustrates the distribution of female and male full-time academic staff by salary range (sourced from File Table B). Higher proportions of male full-time academic staff (24.6%) had contract salaries of £59,400 or over than female full-time academic staff (14.0%).

Chart 5 - Distribution of female and male full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by salary range 2016/17

The total number of non-academic staff employed by UK HE providers was 212,835. Of these, 145,650 or 68.4% were in full-time employment.

Just over half, 54.5%, of full-time non-academic posts were managerial, professional and technical. Of the non-academic part-time staff, 32.7% were in managerial, professional and technical posts and 35.1% were in clerical posts.

Chart 6 below provides the distribution of staff within each activity group by salary range (sourced from File Table B and File Table C).

Chart 6 - Distribution of staff (excluding atypical) within each activity group by salary range 2016/17

Higher proportions (84.9%) of academic staff had contract salaries in the top three salary ranges compared to non-academic staff (32.6%). Similar proportions of academic staff (36.7%) and non-academic managerial, professional & technical staff (33.6%) had contract salaries between £32,958 and £44,240. The majority (60.2%) of manual staff had contract salaries less than £18,412. Over two-fifths (43.0%) of clerical staff had contract salaries between £18,412 and £24,565.

Academic staff headcount 2015/16 to 2016/17

File Table D provides a headcount (rather than full-person equivalent headcount used in all other contexts) of academic staff linking between the Staff records for 2015/16 and 2016/17 with a view to illustrate the number of academic staff who take up and leave academic posts at HE providers.

InFile Table D only, full-time academic staff are those members who spend at least 50% of their time engaged in full-time academic contracts. Similarly, part-time academic staff are those members who spend at least 50% of their time engaged in part-time academic contracts. This results in academic staff numbers that are slightly different from those given in File Table B and File Table C. Data given in File Table D also differs from that given in the main tables 20-22 which are based on staff contracts rather than headcount.

The number of full-time academic staff has increased from 135,245 to 138,655 from 2015/16 to 2016/17, an increase of 2.5%. The number of part-time academic staff increased from 67,620 to 69,215 (2.4%) during this time.

Staff inflow counts the number of academic staff as at 1 December 2016 who were not identified as being at a UK HE provider on 1 December 2015. Staff outflow counts the number of academic staff as at 1 December 2015 who were not identified as being at a UK HE provider on 1 December 2016.

The inflow of staff into full-time academic posts was lower (7,355 staff, 5.3%) than the inflow into part-time academic posts (8,260 staff, 11.9%). The outflow of staff from both full-time and part-time academic posts was lower (7,955 full-time staff, 5.9%; and 5,685 part-time staff, 8.4%) than the inflow.

Charts 7a and 7b below illustrate the inflow and outflow, broken down by previous employment and leaving destination of full-time and part-time academic staff. High proportions of unknowns, particularly among the leaving destination, mean that caution must be exercised when analysing this data.

Chart 7a: Inflow of UK HE full-time and part-time academic staff 2015/16 to 2016/17 and Chart 7b: Outflow of UK HE full-time and part-time academic staff 2015/16 to 2016/17

Age of academic staff

File Table E presents the age distribution of full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by salary range.

Of those staff whose age was known, 40.8% were aged 46 and over.

The average age of full-time academic staff was 43 and of part-time academic staff was 46 (sourced from Table 3a). The average age of academic atypical staff was 40 (sourced from Table 3b).

Chart 8 provides the distribution of full-time academic staff by contract salary and age group (sourced from File Table E).

Chart 8 - Distribution of full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) within each age group by salary range 2016/17

In the 25 and under age group, 69.0% of full-time academic staff earned a contract salary between £24,565 and £32,958 whereas the majority (64.2%) of the 31-35 age group earned a salary between £32,958 and £44,240. In the 41-45 age group, the majority (50.5%) of full-time academic staff earned a salary between £44,240 and £59,400. In the top two age groups, 61-65 years and 66 years & over, 51.1% and 57.6% respectively earned a contract salary of £59,400 or more.

Ethnicity of all staff

In File Table F ethnicity is shown broken down by activity standard occupational classification group and mode of employment. The ethnicity data within this introduction refers to staff of all nationalities.

Of all staff (excluding atypical), 93.5% reported their ethnicity. The response rate varied slightly by activity group and mode of employment. These percentages ranged from 88.7% for part-time academic staff to 95.9% for full-time clerical staff. Among staff of known ethnicity, the proportion from ethnic minority groups varied, with greater representation among academic staff at 15.1% than among non-academic staff at 11.3%.

Ethnicity was reported for over two-thirds (71.7%) of academic atypical staff. Of those academic atypical staff of known ethnicity, 19.3% were from ethnic minority groups.

File Table G provides the ethnic breakdown of staff by activity standard occupational classification group for all ethnic minority staff, including academic atypical. The chart series 9 below illustrates the data from File Table G in pie chart format for all staff, excluding atypical.

Chart 9 series - Ethnicity of staff 2016/17

Disability of all staff

File Table H presents information on disability by activity standard occupational classification group and mode of employment for all staff, in a similar style to File Table F.

Disability status was reported for 97.2% of all staff (excluding atypical). Of those of known disability status, 4.9% declared a disability. For academic staff, the percentages were 97.0% reported and 4.1% declared disabled. For academic atypical staff the percentages were 95.2% reported and 2.9% declared disabled.

File Table I provides a disability breakdown, based on the staff members’ own assessment, by activity standard occupational classification group. The chart series 10 below illustrates the data from File Table I in pie chart format for all staff, excluding atypical.

Chart 10 series - Disability of staff 2016/17

Clinical status, contract level, sex and source of basic salary of full-time academic staff

File Table J provides data on full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by clinical status, contract level, sex and source of basic salary. Of all full-time academic posts, 71.5% were wholly financed by the HE providers themselves.

The proportion of women among full-time clinical academic professors was 20.8% and among full-time non-clinical academic professors was 24.9%. Of those staff who were on other contracts, 44.0% of full-time clinical academic staff were female and 43.2% of full-time non-clinical academic staff were female.

39.9% of full-time clinical academic staff were wholly financed by the HE provider compared with 72.9% of non-clinical full-time academic staff. This reflects the greater prevalence of joint funding arrangements for clinical staff such as joint contracts involving the NHS.

Of all full-time clinical academic staff, 24.4% were professors compared with 11.2% of non-clinical full-time academic staff.

Cost centre and sex of full-time academic staff

The data in File Table K provides a breakdown of full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by cost centre group, source of basic salary and sex.

Overall, 28.5% of full-time academic staff were not wholly financed by the HE provider. Just under half (46.6%) of full-time academic staff in Medicine, dentistry & health and 44.7% in Biological, mathematical & physical sciences were not wholly financed by the HE provider. Academic cost centre groups with the lowest proportions of full-time, academic staff who were externally funded were in the areas of Design, creative & performing arts 2.9%, Administrative & business studies 4.7% and Education 6.1%.

Chart 11 below provides the proportions by sex and cost centre group of full-time academic staff (sourced from File Table K). A third (33.4%) of female full-time academic staff were employed within the Medicine, dentistry & health cost centre group compared to just under a fifth (19.7%) of males. In contrast, over three times the proportion of males (19.5%) than females (6.5%) were employed in the Engineering & technology cost centre group.

Chart 11 - Distribution of female and male full-time academic staff (excluding atypical) by cost centre group 2016/17

Pattern of employment of academic staff

File Table L shows academic staff (excluding atypical) by academic employment function, sex, mode of employment and terms of employment.

Among staff who only had teaching responsibilities, the majority of full-time staff were on open-ended/permanent contracts (78.7% of females and 80.8% of males), whereas the majority of part-time teaching only staff were on fixed-term contracts (60.9% of females and 64.3% of males). Of the staff with both teaching and research responsibilities, 94.3% of full-time staff were on open ended/permanent staff contracts. The opposite was true of research only staff, who had a high proportion of fixed-term contracts. This was true for full-time staff, both females (67.2%) and males (66.8%), and part-time staff, both females (61.0%) and males (66.4%).

Chart 12 below illustrates the proportions of open-ended/permanent and fixed-term contract academic staff by academic employment function, mode of employment and sex.

Chart 12 - Terms of employment of academic staff (excluding atypical)  by academic employment function, mode of employment and sex 2016/17