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Bureaucray in British universities doubles

By River Reporter Mar 20, 2012

By Kelly Alford

The number of managers working in UK higher education has increased twice the rate as the number of academics, new research has revealed. 

Figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency have shown that the number of academic staff employed has increased from 122,100 in 2003-04 up to 145,165 in 2010-11 – a rise of 18.9 per cent.

In the same period however, the number of managers employed in UK higher education rose 39.7 per cent from 11,305 to 15,795.

University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “Despite the fact that there has been a large increase in the number of students in recent years, there has been a larger increase in the number of managers than academics.”

An analysis of the figures by UCU revealed that there is currently one manager for every 9.2 academic staff, compared to one for every 10.8 academics in 2003-04.

‘We have raised fears about the changing nature of universities as the market in higher education continues to grow,” said Ms Hunt. “However, institutions and government must never lose sight of universities’ key roles in teaching and challenging students. That is always going to require top-quality staff given the time and resources to perform those roles.”

Kingston University was unable to provide figures for the increase in non-academic managers, however a comparison of executive and senior staff to academic staff numbers showed a less worrying picture than the rest of the UK.

Statistics for KU between 2003-04 and 2009-10 revealed that the number of executive and senior staff employed had increased just 10 per cent more than the number of academics.

There were 165 executive and senior staff employed at KU in 2010 – up by 35.3 per cent on the 122 employed in the 2003-04 academic year.

There was a 25.8 per cent increase in academics since 2003-04 – nearly 7 per cent more than the rest of the UK.

In 2009-10 there was 5.5 academics for every member of executive and senior staff for every, which has decrease by just 0.5over 6 years.

Since the 2003-04 academic year, the total number of staff at KU has steadily increased from 1,935 to 2,515 in 2009-10. 

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