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Higher Education Staff Statistics: UK 2021/22 released

The first release of HESA staff data for the 2021/22 academic year reveals the demographic make-up and employment details of academic staff in UK higher education. 

View Higher Education Staff Statistics: UK 2021/22 

233,930 academic staff were employed at UK higher education providers on 1 December 2021, a rise of 4% on the previous year. 68% of academic staff were UK nationality, with numbers of EU nationality staff dropping by 1% to 37,995 and non-EU nationality numbers rising by 9% to 36,115.

One in three academic staff were working on fixed-term contracts. This proportion was higher for female staff at 35%, compared to male staff at 31%.

10% of academic staff (23,515) were employed with the contract level of ‘Professor’. 30% of professors were female, up from 28% in the previous two years. This continues a trend seeing this proportion rise by around one percentage point each year.  

Among professors who declared their ethnicity, 165 were black. At under 1% of the total this proportion is the same as previous years. 88% of professors were White and 8% were Asian.

Today marks HESA’s first release of data for the 2021/22 academic year. A further open data publication, Higher Education Staff Data, will be released on 21 February 2023. National level student statistics will be published on Thursday 19 January 2023 with more detailed data published on 31 January 2023.  


  • Headline statistics in this press release exclude ‘atypical’ staff. Atypical contracts are generally non-permanent contracts for short, one-off, or as-and-when tasks. Atypical staff figures are counted differently and shown separately and should not be added to non-atypical figures. See the Terms of employment definition for more detail.  
  • Statistics in this press release relate to staff employed at UK higher education providers on 1 December 2021 in the academic year running from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.
  • Professors are defined as “Senior Academic appointments which may carry the title of Professor but which do not have departmental line management responsibilities”. Other senior contracts including leadership and management roles may also be held by people who hold the Professor title. See the Contract levels definition for more detail.   
  • Percentages exclude unknown values.  
  • See Definitions: Staff for definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics. 
  • See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA. 
  • HESA is now part of Jisc. Jisc is now the data controller of personal data previously controlled by HESA. Privacy information on the HESA website has been updated.
  • Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
Press Release

Press Officer