Labour Research April 2002


"Thousands" of lecturers needed

40,000 new lecturers are needed to meet the government's 50% target for participation in higher education, according to the AUT lecturers union, highlighting yet another source of recruitment pressure in the hard-pressed education system.

In February the government announced that an extra 400,000 students will be needed to reach its 50% target by 2010. This will mean recruiting an additional 22,000 teachers if the current 18:1 student-to-staff ratio is to be maintained, on top of replacing those expected to retire by the same date.

The union says this means making pay and conditions sufficiently attractive to bring new workers into the sector while retaining as many of the existing staff as possible (many of whom are already in the 50-plus age bracket).

Assistant general secretary Sally Hunt pointed out that 4,000 new lecturers would have to be recruited each year, and said: "Unless the Treasury is willing to invest more money in higher education then they will be putting the government's expansion target in jeopardy".