This report aims to provide insight into the realities faced by higher education academic staff at a time of fast-moving change and increasing societal demand. Fluctuating student numbers, new funding and steering mechanisms are among the features of today's European higher education landscape, but not enough is known about how academic staff are affected by such changes. As academic staff are vital for the success of higher education, this report places them centre stage.
The report is divided into six chapters. An introductory chapter provides contextual information on the higher education environment. Subsequent chapters examine the qualification requirements for academic staff, the recruitment process, employment and working conditions in academia, external quality assurance procedures, and top-level strategies for internationalisation. The report also includes national diagrams showing key characteristics of academic staff categories.
The report draws on several data sources. It is based mainly on qualitative data gathered from the Eurydice National Units. This has been complemented by a range of research reports, as well as by reports and databases produced by international organisations. Information has also been collected through surveys to academic staff trade unions and quality assurance agencies. Alongside qualitative information, some chapters also include statistical data from international surveys and databases. These main findings highlight key issues for consideration by policy makers.
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