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Latest HE Staff data: Gender balance remains tilted towards males in senior academic roles

HESA’s Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2005/06 shows that academic staff numbers increased by 2.6% in 2005/06, with a total of 164,875 academic staff employed, up from 160,655 in 2004/05. The latest HESA data shows 111,410 staff were employed full-time, accounting for 67.6% of staff in 2005/06. In the previous year, 109,625 academic staff were employed full-time, 68.2% of total staff numbers.

There were 190,540 non-academic staff in 2005/06 compared to 185,650 the year before. This is a rise of 2.6%, reversing a fall of 1.2% in 2004/05. 66.4% (126,510) of non-academic staff were employed full-time compared to 67.2% (124,820) in 2004/05.

The proportion of full-time female academic staff rose slightly from 36.1% in 2004/05 per cent to 36.6% in 2005/06. Full-time female academics account for around 42% of staff members at lecturer, researchers and other grades. At the grade of 'senior lecturers & researchers’ females are 30.8% of full-time staff, while at professorial level just over 1 in 6 full-time staff are female. Compared to 2004/05 figures there has been a small increase in the proportion of females at professor and ‘senior lecturer & researcher’ level, while at other levels the split in gender has remained almost static.

Full-time academic staff by grade and gender in 2005/06
  Female   Male   Total   Female 2005/06 (%)   Females 2004/05 (%)
Professors 2320   11730   14050   16.5   15.8
Senior lecturers & researchers 7575   17015   24590   30.8   29
Lecturers 14900   20075   34975   42.6   41.8
Researchers 12330   16930   29260   42.1   42.2
Other grades 3620   4915   8540   42.4   42.5
Total 40745   70665   111410   36.6   36.1

Altogether 355,415 academic and non-academic staff were employed in 2005/06. Of these, 190,540 were non-academic staff. Non-academic staff have been grouped into three categories: ‘managerial, professional and technical’ of which there are 76,405 staff; clerical staff who numbered 69,485; and 44,645 manual staff.

Additionally there were 80,930 academic staff and 84,630 non-academic staff employed on an atypical basis. Atypical staff are those who are working less than four consecutive weeks, doing short one-off tasks or work as-and-when required, e.g. student demonstrators or staging an exhibition.

89.7% of (non-atypical) staff reported their ethnicity and overall 9.6% of staff stated they belonged to an ethnic minority group. The percentage of staff for whom ethnicity data is known showed some variance between staff groups and mode of employment, but was over 80% for each group. Among staff of known ethnicity, the proportion of non-white ethnic groups represented 11.5% of known ethnicity full-time academic staff, compared to 7.8% of known ethnicity full-time non-academic staff. For academic and non-academic staff who worked part-time and whose ethnicity was known, 8.8% and 10.6% respectively were from a non-white ethnic group.

All staff by ethnicity and mode of employment 2005/06
  Total   Staff of known ethnicity   Staff of known ethnicity as a percentage of total staff   Ethic minority staff   Ethnic minority staff as a percentage of staff of known ethnicity
All staff (excluding atypical) 355415   318740   89.70%   30520   9.60%
                   
Academic staff 164875   145915   88.50%   15550   10.70%
Full-time 111410   101425   91.00%   11635   11.50%
Part-time 53465   44490   83.20%   3910   8.80%
                   
Non-academic staff total 190540   172825   90.70%   14970   8.70%
Full-time 126510   116705   92.30%   9045   7.80%
Part-time 64030   56120   87.60%   5925   10.60%
                   
Managerial, professional and technical staff 76405   70290   92.00%   5085   7.20%
Full-time 62595   57795   92.30%   4190   7.30%
Part-time 13815   12500   90.50%   895   7.10%
Clerical staff 69485   64085   92.20%   5690   8.90%
Full-time 43950   41290   94.00%   3635   8.80%
Part-time 25540   22795   89.30%   2050   9.00%  
Manual staff 44645   38450   86.10%   4195   10.90%
Full-time 19965   17620   88.30%   1215   6.90%  
Part-time 24680   20825   84.40%   2980   14.30%
                   
Atypical staff 165560   79015   47.70%   12370   15.70%
Academic 80930   34960   43.20%   4105   11.70%
Non-academic 84630   44055   52.10%   8265   18.80%
Managerial, professional and technical staff 25505   14300   56.10%   2055   14.40%
Clerical staff 41370   19955   48.20%   4080   20.40%
Manual staff 17755   9795   55.20%   2135   21.80%

Notes to editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
    • Greg Wells
    • HESA Press Officer
    • 01242 211133
    • [email protected]
    • 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ.
  2. When using this material please credit HESA’s Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2005/06 publication.
  3. Academic staff are those who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities.
  4. Non-academic staff include managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners.
  5. Atypical staff are those who are working less than four consecutive weeks, doing short one-off tasks or work as-and-when required. Examples could include answering phones during clearing, staging an exhibition, organising a conference, conference catering, student ambassadors and student demonstrators. Unless otherwise stated references to staff refer to non-atypical staff.
  6. Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2005/06 is published annually by HESA. It is available to purchase from HESA Customer Services as a combined book and CD-ROM for £50 plus £5.95 VAT. For more information telephone 01242 211155 or see the details of Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2005/06 on our products page.
  7. HESA advise you to take into account the data definitions when examining the data. These can be found below.

Staff data definitions

Coverage

The staff record provides data in respect of the characteristics of members of all academic and non-academic staff employed under a contract of employment by a higher education institution (HEI) in the UK. Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities. Non-academic staff are defined as those that do not have an academic employment function such as managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners. Staff employed under consultancy contracts, or on the basis of payment of fees for services, without a contract of employment, are not included in the record.

The record is collected in two sections; the person table and the contract table. The person table contains one record for every person employed by an institution during the reporting period and contains attributes of the individual such as birth date, gender and ethnicity. Each person's employment with an institution will be governed by a legally-binding contract and each contract that exists is recorded on the contract table. If a person has a single contract with the institution there will be one record on the person table and one record on the contract table. If a person has three contracts with an institution there will be one record on the person table and three records on the contract table.

The HESA staff contract population is an indicator of those contracts that were active on 1 December within the reporting period. Atypical staff contracts are not counted in this population. Other staff with a default (or unknown) contract start date, a default (or unknown) contract end date and a contract FTE of zero are also not counted in this population.

Rounding strategy

Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998, HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. These tabulations are derived from the HESA non-statutory populations[1] and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:

  • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
  • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.

So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3,286 is represented as 3,285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.

This rounding strategy is also applied to total figures, the consequence of which is that the sum of numbers in each row or column rarely matches the total shown precisely.

Average values, proportions and FTE values prepared by HESA are not usually affected by the above strategy, and are calculated on precise raw numbers. However, percentages calculated on populations which contain 52 or fewer individuals will be suppressed and represented as '..' as will averages based on populations of 7 or fewer.

Data on financial affairs of higher education institutions does not fall within the definition of ‘personal data’ under the Data Protection Act 1998, and is therefore exempt from the above provisions.

Full-person equivalent

Individuals can hold more than one contract with an institution and each contract may involve more than one different activity. In published analyses staff counts have been divided amongst their activities in proportion to the declared FTE for each activity. This results in counts of full person equivalents (FPE). Staff FPE counts are calculated on the basis of contract activities that were active on 1 December of the reporting period (using the HESA staff contract population).

Atypical full-person equivalent

Individuals can hold only atypical contracts with an institution and each contract may involve more than one different activity. In published analyses staff counts have been divided amongst their activities in proportion to the declared FTE for each activity. This results in counts of full person equivalents (FPE). Atypical staff FPE counts are calculated on the basis of those individuals who have only atypical contracts that were active during the reporting period (using the HESA atypical staff population).

Mode of employment

Full-time staff are those whose contracts state that their mode of employment is full-time. This includes staff who work full-time for part of a year and term-time only staff who work full-time during the term.

Part-time staff are those staff that work anything less than full-time. This includes the atypical category where institutions were unable to assign staff contracts to either the full-time or the part-time category.

Mode of employment is an attribute of the contract, not the person. Therefore, a person will be counted as wholly part-time, even if they hold a number of part-time contracts that sum to one FTE. The FPE allocated to the full-time category will only reflect the people that hold a full-time contract. This is consistent with the treatment of other attributes of the contract.

Terms of employment

Terms of employment describes the type of contract/s a member of staff has with the institution at the date the data is returned to HESA or date of leaving if earlier.

Atypical staff are those whose working arrangements are not permanent, involve complex employment relationships and/or involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider. These may be characterised by a high degree of flexibility for both the work provider and the working person, and may involve a triangular relationship that includes an agent. Source: DTI Discussion Document on Employment Status, July 2003, paragraph 23.

In addition to this definition from the DTI, some HE specific guidance has been devised by HESA in consultation with institutions. Atypical contracts meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Are for less than four consecutive weeks - meaning that no statement of terms and conditions needs to be issued
  • Are for one-off/short-term tasks - for example answering phones during clearing, staging an exhibition, organising a conference. There is no mutual obligation between the work provider and working person beyond the given period of work or project. In some cases individuals will be paid a fixed fee for the piece of work unrelated to hours/time spent
  • Involve work away from the supervision of the normal work provider - but not as part of teaching company schemes or for teaching and research supervision associated with the provision of distance learning education
  • Involve a high degree of flexibility often in a contract to work ‘as-and-when’ required - for example conference catering, student ambassadors, student demonstrators
  • Equate to less than 5% FTE during the reporting period (this condition only applies until 2005/06, after which there will be no FTE threshold).

Grade (academic staff only)

The grade structure indicates a staff member’s grade for a particular contract of employment. Groups of grades have been devised with regard to the different grading scales used within different institutions. Grades have not, however, been linked to salary information.

Professors includes heads of departments, professors, former UAP scale researchers (grade IV), clinical professors and those appointed professors on a locally determined scale.

Senior lecturers & researchers includes principal lecturers, senior lecturers (former UAP/CSCFC scales), former UAP scale researchers (grade III), clinical senior lecturers and those appointed senior or principal lecturers on a locally determined scale.

Lecturers includes lecturers, senior lecturers (former PCEF scale), clinical lecturers and those appointed lecturers on a locally determined scale.

Researchers includes all research grades not listed above and those researchers appointed on a locally determined scale.

Other grades includes other grades of academic staff not listed above.

Analysis by ‘staff grade’ is only meaningful where institutions have reported their staff within nationally recognised grade structures or within internal grade structures which facilitate differentiation on a similar basis.

Several institutions, including some large post-1992 universities, report their academic staff on a single grade structure, which does not have an independent category for the professor grade. Hence staff on the professor grade at institutions using the single grade scale cannot be distinguished from the senior lecturer grade, leading to the number of professors being under-counted for these institutions and for the sector as a whole. This under-counting will have a consequential effect on the proportions of professors within particular subject areas, cost centres and by gender.

No attempt has been made to collect grade information for non-academic staff as the wide range of grade structures used up to now in institutions could not straightforwardly or meaningfully be mapped to a set of national grades.

It is recognised that there have been significant changes and developments in higher education employment conditions in recent years. Central to this is the Framework Agreement on Pay Modernisation in Higher Education that was agreed in 2004. The Agreement provides a framework to modernise pay arrangements with the specific aim of promoting equality, transparency and harmonisation to ensure equal pay is delivered for work of equal value. Institutions negotiated grade structures for all staff locally against a nationally agreed pay spine. An increasing number of institutions have therefore moved away from nationally recognised grade structures. Since implementation of the Framework Agreement was completed by the sector in August 2006, the existing coding frame in the HESA Staff Record has become somewhat outmoded. However, a decision is awaited as to how best to reflect the Agreement in terms of institutions reporting grade statistics at a national level.

The Agency therefore advises caution in analysis of staff by grade.

Ethnicity

It is HESA’s intention to adopt national classifications where they exist and are appropriate. However, in this instance, there is no coding structure for ethnicity that is applicable throughout the UK, as variations to the Census 2001 ethnicity coding were adopted in both Scotland and Northern Ireland. To accommodate requirements for institutions in these regions to report locally to their devolved administrations, the coding frame has been revised.

Staff may choose not to reveal their ethnicity and therefore HESA advises that the figures reported in analyses are derived from a subset which may not be representative of the total staff population.

The following entries have been grouped together and this may mean that the ethnicity groupings used in previous years may not now be comparable:

The ethnic category ‘White’ includes the entries:

  • White
  • White - British
  • White - Irish
  • White - Scottish
  • Irish Traveller
  • Other White background.

The ethnic category ‘Other (including mixed)’ includes the entries:

  • Mixed - White and Black Caribbean
  • Mixed - White and Black African
  • Mixed - White and Asian
  • Other mixed background
  • Other ethnic background.

SOC - Occupational coding for higher education staff

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) provides a national standard for categorising occupational information. SOC forms the basis of occupational classification in a variety of national surveys that collect statistical information such as the Labour Force Survey and New Earnings Survey. The utilisation of SOC for classifying occupations within the HE sector therefore both allows for the heterogeneity of occupations that exist and enables comparisons to be made with other sectors of the economy and from a variety of data sources.

However, some difficulties emerge in the direct application of SOC for occupational coding within the HE sector. At the most aggregate level, SOC distinguishes nine broad categories termed Major Groups. The titles associated with these Major Groups, which by necessity have to be general in their nature to encompass all occupations, do not provide an intuitive method of classifying the occupations within HE. Additionally, the coding manuals of the Standard Occupational Classification contain information on many occupations and job titles that are not relevant to the HE sector.

The classification of occupations within higher education has therefore necessitated the development of a variant of the national standard that is relevant for the HE sector. This enables the classification of job titles found within the HE sector to fall into one of 13 broad occupational categories:

  • 1 Managers
  • 2A Academic professionals
  • 2B Non-academic professionals
  • 3A Laboratory, engineering, building, IT & medical technicians (including nurses)
  • 3B Student welfare workers, careers advisers, vocational training instructors, personnel & planning officers
  • 3C Artistic, media, public relations, marketing & sports instruction occupations
  • 4A Library assistants, clerks & general administrative
  • 4B Secretaries, typists, receptionists & telephonists
  • 5 Chefs, gardeners, electrical & construction trades, mechanical fitters & printers
  • 6 Caretakers, residential wardens, sports & leisure attendants, nursery nurses & care occupations
  • 7 Retail & customer service occupations
  • 8 Drivers, maintenance supervisors & plant operatives
  • 9 Cleaners, catering assistants, security officers, porters & maintenance workers.

Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities. All academic staff fall into group 2A of the SOC classification, regardless of their discipline (e.g. science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, languages).

Non-academic staff are defined as members of staff who fall into one of the remaining 12 occupational categories such as managers, non-academic professionals, student welfare workers, secretaries, caretakers and cleaners.

1. Non-statutory populations omit any contribution from individuals who have notified HESA of their wish to be excluded in circumstances such as the publication of the present volume where inclusion is not defined as a requirement by the bodies whose statutory powers underpin HESA data collections.

Copyright © Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2007

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