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Staff at higher education providers in the United Kingdom 2014/15

Statistical First Release SFR225

This is the first release of data from the 2014/15 HESA Staff record. The release provides details of staff employment at UK Higher Education providers (HEPs) on 1 December 2014. It has been produced in partnership with the UK administrations and is released in accordance with the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Detailed analysis of the HESA Staff record will be available in the reference volume Staff in Higher Education 2014/15 due to be released in February 2016. 

Key Points - all staff

On 1 December 2014 there were 403,835 staff (excluding atypical staff, refer to definitions below) employed in the HE sector, showing an increase of 2% from 395,780 staff employed on 1 December 2013. Almost half of staff (49%, 198,335) were employed on academic contracts in 2014/15, the same percentage as in 2013/14 (194,235 staff). The majority of these were in professional occupations (refer to the definitions for further detail of occupational classifications). Chart 1 shows the numbers of staff by contract type and mode over the last 3 years.

Staff at HE providers by mode of employment and academic contract marker 2012/13 to 2014/15

272,250 staff were employed on full-time contracts, an increase of 3% from 263,050 in 2013/14 and 131,585 on part-time contracts a decrease of 1% from 132,730 in 2013/14.

Over the 2014/15 academic year, 75,560 atypical staff were employed by HEPs on academic contracts, an increase of 1% from 2013/14.

A further 31,345 atypical staff on non-academic contracts were reported in the 2014/15 return.  It should be noted that HEPs are only obliged to return atypical staff on academic contracts and therefore the number of atypical staff on non-academic contracts may be an undercount.

47% of full-time staff and 67% of part-time staff were female in 2014/15.

Staff by mode of employment, academic marker and sex 2014/15

Key Points - academic staff

45% (89,225) of academic staff on 1 December 2014 were female, the same proportion as in 2013/14.

49% (96,550) of academic staff on 1 December 2014 were employed on contracts described as having a teaching and research function. 51,970 (26%) had an academic employment function described as teaching only.

19,600 academic staff were employed on a contract level described as a professor in 2014/15 (It should be noted that this is likely to be an undercount of all professors because many will fall into more senior levels i.e. Heads of department, refer to definitions). 4,535 of these staff were female representing 23%. A further 5,935 academic staff were employed on Other senior academic contracts, 1,995 were female representing 34%.

Nearly two-thirds, (65%, 128,300) of academic staff were employed on open-ended or permanent contracts in 2014/15 and 35% were employed on fixed term contracts.


Table 1

All staff (excluding non-academic atypical) at UK HE providers by academic contract marker, activity standard occupational classification, mode of employment and sex 2012/13 to 2014/15

Table 2

Academic staff (excluding atypical) at UK HE providers by source of basic salary, academic employment function, contract level, terms of employment, mode of employment and sex 2014/15


The data in this SFR in based on the 2012/13 to 2014/15 HESA Staff record. The statistics in this SFR are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly funded Higher Education providers (HEPs) in the UK, plus the University of Buckingham, which is a non-publicly-funded HE provider.

Data was prepared December 2015 using the following versions of the datasets:

  • 2012/13 Fixed dataset, September 2014 version
  • 2013/14 Fixed dataset, October 2015 version
  • 2014/15 Original dataset, November 2015 version.

For data intelligence, please see the following web page.

HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.


Enquiries should be directed to the Press office at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ, telephone: 01242 211120.



21 January 2016, 9:30




Children, education and skills

Issued by

HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ

Press enquiries

01242 211120

Public enquiries

01242 211133


Jenny Bermingham


[email protected]