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First staff data analysis 2004/05

The first analysis of the HESA Staff record for 2004/05 shows that academic staff numbers increased by 6.9 percent. In 2004/05 there were 160,655 academic staff, up by 10,425 from 150,230 in 2003/04.

There were 185,650 non-academic staff in 2004/05 compared to 187,875 in 2003/04. This is a fall of 1.2 percent. 67.2 percent (124,820) were employed full-time compared to 64.2 percent (120,625) in 2003/04.

However, a problem identified with data submitted by the Open University to HESA in the 2003/04 staff dataset results in the skewing of the overall sector level staff numbers. The OU inadvertently classified approximately 6,500 staff as non-academic professionals instead of academic professionals. This results in the undercounting of academic staff and an overcount of non-academic staff numbers for 2003/04. This problem has been corrected for 2004/05 data.

This press release shows figures both including and excluding the OU where appropriate. Where they are excluded and a comparison of academic years is being made, they have been excluded from both academic years’ figures.

When the OU are excluded, the data shows that academic staff numbers increased by 2.7 percent from 149,140 in 2003/04 to 153,095 in 2004/05. This equates to a rise of 2.6 percent in full-time academic staff from 105,915 to 108,650 and a rise of 2.8 percent in part-time staff from 43,230 to 44,445.

Female academic staff (not including the OU) increased by 4.9 percent from 59,660 to 62,555 and males by 1.2 percent from 89,485 to 90,540. Female academics accounted for 40.9 percent of staff in 2004/05 compared to 40.0 percent in 2003/04. In 2004/05, 62.7 percent of female academics worked full-time, compared to 62.2 percent in 2003/04. For males these figures were 76.7 percent and 76.9 percent respectively.

The table below shows the distribution of full-time academic staff by grade and gender in 2004/05 (including the OU).

  Female Male Total % female
Professors 2095 11135 13230 15.8
Senior lecturers & researchers 6625 16225 22850 29
Lecturers 15685 21845 37530 41.8
Researchers 11855 16270 28130 42.2
Other grades 3350 4535 7885 42.5
Total 39610 70015 109625 36.1

There were 182,445 non-academic staff in 2004/05 compared to 178,080 in 2003/04 (excluding the OU). This is an increase of 2.5 percent. 67.1 percent (122,330) were employed full-time compared to 66.2 percent (117,925) in 2003/04.

Detailed analysis of the HESA Staff record will be available in the reference volume Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2004/05 due out in May 2006.

Notes to editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. From the 2003/04 academic year the Higher Education Statistics Agency introduced a new record of staff data that combines and replaces the several staff data streams that were collected previously. For more information on how the data from this record compares with data from previous collections please see HESA Press Release 84.
  3. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  4. Definitions of the terms used in this press release follow:
    • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
    • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest 5.

    Full-person equivalent (FPE)

    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).

    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.

    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 and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:

    So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.


    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.

    Additionally, with the implementation of the JINCHES agreement, institutions will be negotiating grade structures for all staff locally against a nationally agreed pay spine. An increasing number of institutions will therefore be moving away from nationally recognised grade structures from 2004 onwards. New methods for recording and monitoring grade nationally will have to be developed, but these will need to reflect a yet unknown reality. Consequently in the short term recording of grade will not be possible in all institutions even for academic staff. The Agency therefore advises caution in analysis of staff by grade.


Press Release

Press Officer