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What does the escalating number of part-time teachers in the workforce mean for Higher Education?

Beaton, Fran, Gilbert, Amanda (2012) What does the escalating number of part-time teachers in the workforce mean for Higher Education? In: SRHE conference, 12th - 14ty December 2012, Newport,Wales. (Unpublished) (KAR id:40868)


Higher Education is very different from how it was when academics, now on the verge of

retirement, joined the profession forty years ago (eg UUK 2010). One of the main

differences is the increased proportion of academic and teaching staff working on nonstandard

contracts in universities. Across the world, definitions and measures of the

numbers of academic staff on part-time and sessional contracts vary. OECD statistics, for

example, suggest that percentages of part-time academic staff vary from as little as 2% in

France to around 60% in Japan. Estimated figures for the UK (eg Armstrong 2011) put the

proportion of part-time teachers at around 40%.

The numbers and diversity of part-time teachers reflect a number of changes in Higher

Education. Such changes include, for example, the curriculum offer: part-timers may be

employed for their active professional expertise in, for instance, medicine and creative and

performing arts. Crucially, increased student numbers have changed the face of university

education in potential tension with student expectations.

Casualisation of teaching has many implications for Higher Education and the students who

study within it. The professional development of staff on non-standard contracts, exploring

the experiences of these staff, their recruitment, preparation and support and the quality of

educational outcomes for students is the subject of a forthcoming book (Authors, in press).

In this paper, drawing both on literature of the changing academic profession (eg Brennan

et al 2007; Locke 2007), empirical work and discussion of data drawn from a range of

institutions in Australasia and the UK, we will consider the challenges for full-timers, parttimers

and academic development, and discuss the implications of casualisation of academic

staff for the sector as a whole.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: part-time teachers; global trends; professional development needs; implications for students
Subjects: L Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Fran Beaton
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2014 12:24 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:15 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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