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Increase in female academics

2002/03 Resources of HE Institutions released by HESA

A 5.7 per cent increase in the number of female academics has continued to narrow the gender gap amongst staff at universities and higher education colleges. But women are still in the minority, making up 39 per cent of staff in the 2002/03 academic year. The figures show a consistent rise; in the 2001/02 academic year women made up 38 per cent of academic staff and 37 per cent in 2000/01.

Male academic staff increased by 0.7 per cent. The increases contribute to an overall rise of 2.6 per cent in staff numbers to 146,875 for the 2002/03 academic year compared to 143,150 in 2001/02 and 139,940 in 2000/01. Women comprised over half of those working part-time (56 per cent). The figures are revealed in the first detailed analysis of 2002/03 staff data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency in their forthcoming publication Resources of Higher Education Institutions.

HESA also looked at full-time academic staff numbers by gender and grade. The biggest increase in staff was amongst female professors at 10.4 per cent followed by female lecturers at 6.4 per cent. The largest increase in male staff was at the professor level (1.5 per cent). The table below shows a full breakdown of grade and gender for the last three academic years.

Full-time academic staff in all UK institutions by grade and gender
  2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 % change 2001/02
to 2002/03
Professors 12530 12820 13170 2.7%
   Female 1575 1685 1860 10.4%
   Male 10960 11140 11310 1.5%
Senior lecturers & researchers 22105 22720 23280 2.5%
   Female 5370 5780 6150 6.4%
   Male 16740 16940 17130 1.1%
Lecturers 41955 41495 41110 -0.9%
   Female 15895 16150 16395 1.5%
   Male 26055 25340 24715 -2.5%
Researchers 32445 35200 35625 1.2%
   Female 13185 14540 14950 2.8%
   Male 19265 20660 20675 0.1%
Other grades 7370 7665 7610 -0.7%
   Female 2965 3070 3055 -0.6%
   Male 4400 4595 4560 -0.8%
Total 116405 119900 120800 0.7%

The proportion of academic staff who are of UK nationality and non-white ethnicity has increased slightly from 5.5 per cent in 2001/02 to 5.6 per cent in 2002/03. The percentage of staff who are disabled has shown a rise from 1.5 per cent in 2001/02 to 1.8 per cent in 2002/03. In 2000/01 1.1 per cent of staff were disabled. The average age of staff has remained steady at 42 for the past four years.

Notes for editors

  1. Resources of Higher Education Institutions is an annual publication published by HESA. This year this product has been produced as a CD-ROM containing a wide range of data in a series of detailed tables, many of which are tabulated by institution. The CD-ROM is also accompanied by a printed reference volume containing summary tables of the CD-ROM data. The product is available to the public from HESA Customer Services, telephone 01242 211155 for more information.
  2. Percentages by ethnicity, disability and age have been calculated on those whose status is known within these fields of data. Disability and ethnicity data has been calculated on staff who are of UK nationality only.
  3. Some caution should be exercised in analysing staff grade as not all institutions report their staff within nationally recognised grade structures, or within internal grade structures that facilitate discrimination on a comparative basis. Several institutions, including some large post-1992 universities, report their 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, leading to the number of professors being under-counted for these institutions and for the sector as a whole.
  4. HESA also provides an Information Provision service for tailor-made data enquiries. Telephone 01242 211133 for more information.
  5. HESA is the central source for higher education statistics. HESA was set-up in 1993 following a Government White Paper ‘Higher Education: A New framework’, which called for more coherence in higher education statistics.
  6. Press enquiries should be directed to Press Officer at HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ; telephone: 01242 211133. 


Press Release

Press Officer