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The changing academic profession in the UK: the challenges of professional renewal

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Title: The changing academic profession in the UK: the challenges of professional renewal


1
The changing academic profession in the UK the
challenges of professional renewal
William Locke, Assistant Director Centre for
Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI)
  • Forskervilkår under press?
  • 24. mars 2010, Hotel Bristol i Oslo

2
Outline
  1. Background and introduction
  2. UK CAP survey findings
  3. Discussion of findings

3
1. Background and introduction
  • UK context
  • Institutional context
  • Academic staff at UK HEIs

4
Background the UK context
  • Expansion and differentiation
  • Government steering
  • Changing governance arrangements
  • Stronger institutional management
  • Dominance of research its separation from
    teaching
  • Academic pay conditions
  • Levels of satisfaction and stress
  • Increasing proportion of foreign nationals

5
Background the institutional context
  • Increasing pressure and insecurity
  • Diversification, specialisation and
    stratification
  • Blurring distinctions
  • Internationalisation of academic work
  • Entrepreneurialism

6
Academic staff at UK HEIs 2006/07 Excluding
atypical
Source HESA
7
Academic staff at UK HEIs 2006/07 Excluding
atypical
Source HESA
Type of institution Proportion of population (excluding not known)
Research intensive universities 34
Other pre-1992 universities 31
Post-1992 universities 28
Post-2004 universities 3
HE colleges 4
Research institutes 0
Total 100
8
Academic staff at UK HEIs 2006/07 by type of
contract
9
2. UK CAP survey findings
  • Overall satisfaction with the job
  • Academic work
  • Beliefs about institutional decision-making
  • Personal affiliation
  • Views on administration management

10
Overall satisfaction Current job satisfaction,
by institution type
Source CAP 2007
11
Overall satisfaction Current job satisfaction,
by career stage
12
Academic work - Primary interest, 1992/2007
1992 2007
Primarily in teaching 12 11
In both, but leaning towards teaching 32 28
In both, but leaning towards research 40 37
Primarily in Research 15 24
Source CAP 2007
13
Personal influence and affiliation Affiliation
to academic discipline, department institution
Source CAP 2007
14
Views on institutions approach management
performance Management of own institution
Source CAP 2007

15
UK CAP survey findings summary
  • In 2007 UK academics
  • are doing less teaching and more research
  • would prefer to do both
  • some are being channelled into one or the other,
    or believe they are hardly compatible
  • have varied conceptions of scholarship and
    professional responsibilities
  • worry about threats to the quality of research
  • do not agree with the further concentration of
    research funding
  • a large minority have a negative view of the
    profession and the management of their
    institution
  • are generally less satisfied than in 1992
  • a large minority have seriously considered
    working outside of HE
  • still appear to be differentiated by
    institution-type, but in modified ways

16
3. Discussion of findings
  • The transformation of academic work
  • The challenges for academics professional renewal

17
The transformation of academic work the
academic workforce
  • segmentation
  • differentiation
  • role changes
  • professionalisation continuing development
  • commodification privatisation
  • marketisation
  • corporatisation
  • shifting power relationships

18
The challenge for academics professional renewal
  • forms of governance management styles
  • organisational structures cultures
  • professional identities values

19
William Locke Assistant Director Centre for
Higher Education Research Information The Open
University 44 Bedford Row London WC1R 4LL Tel
44 (0)20 7447 2553 Email w.d.locke_at_open.ac.uk
  • www.open.ac.uk/cheri
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