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Higher Education Staff Data 2021/22

Open data release from HESA shows increasing numbers of academic staff employed in the UK.

Higher Education Staff Data

The number of academic staff employed at UK higher education providers grew by 4% in 2021/22, matching the 4% rise in the number of students. The number of EU nationality academic staff fell by 1% while the number of non-EU nationality staff grew by 9%.

The proportion of academic staff with a non-UK nationality has stayed at 32% for the last three years with EU nationality staff leaving the sector while non-EU nationality staff numbers continue to rise.

Disciplines with the highest proportion of non-UK nationality staff include Economics & econometrics (68%) and Chemical engineering (56%). The highest proportion of EU nationality staff (35%) were working in Modern languages departments.

The HESA data includes information about the inflow and outflow of academic staff in the UK higher education sector. The 4% rise in total numbers includes 36,430 new staff entering the sector while 32,105 left.

9% of the outflow from the UK academic staff population whose destinations were known went to work in higher education overseas while 16% left to enter the UK private sector.

Among new entrants to the sector, 25% had previously been students in the UK and 25% had been working in the UK private sector.

Today’s open data Official Statistics release Higher Education Staff Data includes detailed breakdowns of staff demographic and contract characteristics in five topics:

Most data tables include eight years of data, with older data available through HESA’s publications archive.


  • 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.
  • 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