The higher education sector has experienced profound changes in recent years. As student numbers have continued to increase, new steering and funding mechanisms have been established, quality assurance systems have been further developed and societal demands have expanded. Yet there has been too little focus on the impact and implications of these developments for academic staff, who play a vital role in higher education institutions and systems.
The brief is based on a comprehensive report, Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Academic Staff – 2017 published in June, which explores the realities for academic staff in this changing higher education landscape. The brief focuses on some of the main findings, including on human resource policy planning, academic careers, working conditions, and teaching. It concludes by highlighting three key concerns for policy-making: 'levelling the playing field for academic careers', 'balancing institutional autonomy and government oversight' and 'improving information gathering on academic staff'.