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Higher Education Staff Data 2019/20

Staff data released by HESA includes demographic breakdown of academic departments. The figures show that education departments have the highest proportions of female academics, with engineering and technology having the lowest proportion.

The data released today relates to staff employed on 1 December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The data was collected from HE providers in Autumn 2020, during the pandemic.

The 2019/20 release includes data from additional English HE providers registered as Approved (fee cap) with the Office for Students. From 2019/20 it is not mandatory for HE providers in England and Northern Ireland to return information about non-academic staff.

View Higher Education Staff Data

47% of academic staff employed at UK HE providers in 2019/20 were female, but the proportion varies considerably across academic departments. The cost centre1 groups with the highest proportions of female academic staff were education (predominantly teacher training) at 61% and medicine, dentistry and health at 60%. The most male dominated cost centre group was engineering and technology where 79% of academic staff were male.

Engineering and technology also had the highest proportion of non-UK nationality academic staff (47%) and the second highest proportion of academic staff aged 50 or under (74%).

The education cost centre group had the highest proportions of UK nationality academics (87%) and the highest proportion of academics aged 51 or over (43%).

Overall 68% of academic staff were UK nationals and 31% were aged 51 or over.

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 six years of data, with older data available through HESA’s publication archive.

If you have comments or suggestions about today’s release please give feedback via the form in the right hand menu of each page.


  1. Cost centres are an accounting concept used as a proxy for academic departments. All HE providers arrange their academic schools, faculties and departments differently. HESA cost centres are designed to be as comparable as possible between different providers. Breakdowns by cost centre can be found on the page What areas do they work in? 
  2. See Definitions: Staff for definitions of terms used in the release and explanation of the coverage of statistics.
  3. See Upcoming data releases for a schedule of Official Statistics releases from HESA, including Statistical Bulletins, Performance Indicators and full open data releases.
  4. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
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