Academic starters and leavers

Are there more or less academic staff in your university than this time last year?

David Kernohan is Deputy Editor of Wonkhe

Academic staff leave – to pursue new opportunities, take roles elsewhere, or as a result of decisions made by managers. And academic staff arrive – a first job, a mid-career shift, or as part of a desperate plan to cover teaching at the last minute. While some numbers -in both directions – are headline news, the source of truth is, as you may expect, released as HESA Open Data.

The data underpinning Table 22 allows us to see where universities have grown or shrunk in staff numbers during the last academic year.

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We get versions of this data back to 2014-15 – here’s a way of looking at starters (green) and leavers (red) with net change (grey) – and the total number of staff at the provider in the line chart below.

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What we don’t see here is the differing roles that academic staff do – on the face of it losing 100 staff and appointing 100 new ones is good news, but if you’ve lost 100 experienced staff and 100 early career academics are expected to do the same jobs for less pay then that’s very clearly not a good thing.

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