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HESA reference volume published today Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2008/09

The HESA reference volume Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2008/09 is published today. Comparison with previous years' data reveals that the proportion of academic staff employed on fixed-term contracts has declined between 2004/05 and 2008/09.

In 2004/05 56.8% of academic staff employed in UK higher education institutions were employed on open ended or permanent contracts, rising to 64.8% in 2008/09. Female academic staff were more likely to be employed on fixed-term contracts over the five years than male academic staff.

Academic staff by terms of employment and gender
  All academic staff Female Male
Year Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term
2004/05 56.8% 43.2% 51.7% 48.3% 60.4% 39.6%
2005/06 59.2% 40.8% 54.7% 45.3% 62.4% 37.6%
2006/07 62.5% 37.5% 58.7% 41.3% 65.3% 34.7%
2007/08 64.4% 35.6% 60.9% 39.1% 67.0% 33.0%
2008/09 64.8% 35.2% 61.4% 38.6% 67.4% 32.6%
Source: HESA Staff Record 2004/05 to 2008/09

The proportion of research only staff on fixed-term contracts fell from 88.9% in 2004/05 to 73.9% in 2008/09. For teaching only staff the proportion fell from 61.7% to 48.0% over the same period. 

Academic staff by terms of employment and academic employment function
  Teaching only Total Teaching and research Total Research only Total
Year Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term
2004/05 38.3% 61.7% 85.9% 14.1% 11.1% 88.9%
2005/06 41.0% 59.0% 87.7% 12.3% 15.3% 84.7%
2006/07 46.1% 53.9% 88.4% 11.6% 22.2% 77.8%
2007/08 48.5% 51.5% 88.9% 11.1% 24.5% 75.5%
2008/09 52.0% 48.0% 87.7% 12.3% 26.1% 73.9%
Source: HESA Staff Record 2004/05 to 2008/09

Almost three quarters of academic staff aged 30 or under were employed on fixed term contracts in 2008/09. A majority (52.5%) of this age group were research-only staff in 2008/09. Meanwhile, more than three quarters of academic staff aged 41 and over were employed on open-ended or permanent contracts.

Academic staff by terms of employment and age group
  30 and under 31 - 40 41 and over
Year Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term Permanent Fixed-term
2004/05 17.1% 82.9% 49.1% 50.9% 71.0% 29.0%
2005/06 19.8% 80.2% 52.0% 48.0% 73.2% 26.8%
2006/07 25.0% 75.0% 55.9% 44.1% 75.2% 24.8%
2007/08 27.3% 72.7% 58.0% 42.0% 76.6% 23.4%
2008/09 27.4% 72.6% 57.8% 42.2% 77.2% 22.8%
Source: HESA Staff Record 2004/05 to 2008/09

As well as comprehensive coverage of staff in higher education the HESA Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2008/09 reference volume also includes coverage of HE finance data and results from the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey. A list of the publication's contents can be found here.

HESA Resources of Higher Education Institutions 2008/09 is available for purchase for from our website or by calling +44 (0) 1242 211155.

A detailed report on the results of the 2008/09 HE-BCI survey will be published by HEFCE in due course.

Notes for editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. Staff whose gender was recorded as 'not known' or 'indeterminate' are excluded from percentage calculations.
  3. Atypical staff are not included in the data tables. See here for the definition of atypical staff.
  4. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.
  5. More staff data can be found in Statistical First Release 143.
  6. A summary of finance data can be found in Press Release 145..
  7. HEFCE will be publishing a report of the results of the HE-BCI survey in due course.
  8. Definitions of the terms used above follow:

    Definitions

    Academic staff

    Academic staff are defined as academic professionals who are responsible for planning, directing and undertaking academic teaching and research within HE institutions. They also include vice-chancellors, medical practitioners, dentists, veterinarians and other health care professionals who undertake lecturing or research activities. All academic staff fall into group 2A of the SOC classification, regardless of their discipline (e.g. science, engineering, social sciences, humanities, languages).

    Terms of employment

    The data above are restricted to non-atypical staff

    Permanent staff are those who are employed on a contract of employment that states the member of staff as permanent or on an open-ended contract. This includes term-time only staff who are employed on an open-ended contract.

    Fixed-term contract staff are those employed for a fixed period of time or have an end date on their contract of employment. This includes staff on rolling fixed-term contracts.

    Academic employment function

    The academic employment function of a member of staff relates to the academic contract of employment and not the actual work undertaken.

    Teaching only staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed only to undertake teaching.

    Teaching & research staff are those whose contracts of employment state that they are employed to undertake both teaching and research.

    Research only staff are those whose contracts of employment state that the primary academic employment function is research only, even though the contract may include a limited number of hours teaching.

    Age

    Age is as at 31 August in the reporting period (e.g. 31 August 2008 for the 2008/09 academic year).

Ends

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