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Changing Nature of the Academic Profession: preliminary findings from a national survey Leo Goedegebuure Jeannet van der Lee CHEMP Seminar Series: 19 June.

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Presentation on theme: "Changing Nature of the Academic Profession: preliminary findings from a national survey Leo Goedegebuure Jeannet van der Lee CHEMP Seminar Series: 19 June."— Presentation transcript:

1 Changing Nature of the Academic Profession: preliminary findings from a national survey Leo Goedegebuure Jeannet van der Lee CHEMP Seminar Series: 19 June 2008

2 Background International comparative project Follows from 1990s Carnegie Survey 21 countries preliminary data available under construction

3 Central Questions To what extent is the nature of academic work changing? What are the external and internal drivers of these changes? How does this differ between countries, disciplines, and types of higher education institutions? What are the consequences for the attractiveness of an academic career?

4 Method Target population: all academic staff in universities working in faculties rather than central administration, who do not have adjunct, casual or honorary appointments as their substantive position 21 institutions volunteered to participate in response to invitation sent to all 37 Australian universities Representative of state and institutional groupings Participating institutions supplied population list from which sampling frame was constructed and the staff sample drawn (no central frame exists)

5 Survey distribution & response Online survey distributed to 5,496 individuals Survey period: September to December ,252 responses after final validation Final response rate of 24.2 per cent The sample is representative of the total population hence outcomes can be generalised

6 A few words on the Carnegie Study Australia included in the 1990s study As yet we do not have the original dataset available Therefore, comparisons are made on reported outcomes in a number of publications Note: the 2007 survey is not a replication of the Carnegie Study but some elements are identical

7 Introducing Colin and Cheryl Born 1960 Married (82%) 2 children English = first language Partner tertiary educated (54%), non-academic (78%) Colin - 91% no major breaks Cheryl - 44% 4 years interruption 1st academic in family 27% - father tertiary educated 20% - mother tertiary educated

8 Citizenship at birth >40% % 1-10% 10% <1%

9 Work Colin 14 yrs, 3 institutions, full-time Cheryl 11 yrs Both employed full-time (85%) Females more part-time Males occupy higher ranks

10 Academic Rank by Gender CARNEGIE Gender disparities evident by rank, particularly at senior levels CARNEGIE Gender disparities evident by rank, particularly at senior levels

11 Job Satisfaction Rather satisfied (very high to high 55%) Compared to Carnegie: 1990s 1990s2007 Very Satisfied Satisfied41 Neutral25 Dissatisfied2520

12 Job Satisfaction If I had to do it again, I would not become an academic This is a poor time for a young person to begin an academic career 1990s2007 Agree1621 Neutral1820 Disagree s2007 Agree3346 Neutral2118 Disagree4636

13 Job Satisfaction (2007) 2/3 believe working conditions deteriorated 3/4 have considered changing jobs, outside sector (38%), other institution (33%), 25% overseas, 15% management 11% have undertaken concrete action

14 Some interpretations Pearson and Seiler (1983) Moses (1986) context factors such as work environment are most influential Watty, Bellamy and Morley (2003) (2008) autonomy most important in determining satisfaction 2007 survey suggests support for both propositions, but further analysis necessary

15 Activity Average 50 hours per week CARNEGIE 46 hours per week CARNEGIE 46 hours per week

16 Teaching Mostly undergraduate (59%), master (27%), doctoral (22%) Undergrad classes ~ 220 students Classroom instruction, individualized instruction, course materials & curricula. 1/4 distance education, 14% offshore Practically orientated knowledge & skills Teaching reinforced by research Teach basic skills due to deficiencies Quality focused

17 Research Individual (79%), Collaborative (88%) Collaborators: Australian (70%), Overseas (61%) Publications: 67% peer reviewed, 52% Aust co-authored (o/s 20%), 45% published overseas Ethical compliance, results freely available High expectation to increase productivity (conform Carnegie) Funding should not be concentrated on most productive researchers $$ = research councils (49%), institutional (44%)

18 Teaching v Research The majority of Australian academics express a preference for research over teaching, with only 7% indicating a preference for teaching. 70% prefer both teaching and research, but lean towards research (40%) or have a strong preference for research (29%). CARNEGIE Preference for teaching CARNEGIE Preference for teaching

19 Preferences for teaching v research Level ALevel BLevel CLevel DLevel E Teaching Research

20 Management Most influence department  school  inst Influence = international linkages, internal research priorities Shared power managers & faculty committees Budget - institutional (56%) faculty (21%) Internal mgt: government & external diminished Institutional management: top-down; administration cumbersome; strong performance orientation; little collegiality in decision making; communication with academics poor ~ managerialism University should play an active role in community

21 Where to next? Further detailed comparison with 1990’s Carnegie survey International comparisons and benchmarking More detailed analysis reflecting current policy issues such as diversity, governance & management, and the international academic labour market

22 Project website cts/cap/ to be kept up to date on further project outcomes


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