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Staff in Higher Education 2016/17

HESA’s publication Staff in Higher Education 2016/17 reveals further details of the demographic and contractual make-up of staff in UK universities.

The online introduction to Staff in Higher Education 2016/17 includes information on the gender balance of staff by academic department, revealing that one-third of full-time female academic staff work in medicine and health related disciplines.

HESA’s January release of staff data showed that two-thirds of all academic staff work on permanent or open-ended contracts with one-third employed on fixed-term contracts. Today’s release reveals that this ratio is reversed for research-only staff, with two-thirds working on fixed-term contracts.

Between December 2015 and December 2016 there was an overall increase of 2.5% in the number of academic staff employed at UK higher education providers. This new publication shows some of the flows of staff into and out of UK higher education, with over 13,000 staff leaving and over 15,000 entering the HE sector during the 2016/17 academic year.

Other free tables from Staff in Higher Education 2016/17 include staff numbers by HE provider and, for the first time, data on the teaching qualifications of academic staff. The introduction and other free tables are available now on the HESA website. As part of HESA’s planned open data strategy, next year’s Staff in Higher Education publication will be a free open data release.



  • HESA staff data is collected from all publicly funded higher education providers in the UK, plus the University of Buckingham, which is a privately funded HE provider.
  • See Definitions: Staff for definitions of terms used in the release.
  • HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  • View the pre-release access list for this release.

About HESA

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Its experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education to support the strategic aims of its users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. It is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. It operates as an independent organisation, working in collaboration with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.



Press Release

Press Officer