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ERIC Number: ED537985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 101
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 46
The Australian Academic Profession in Transition: Addressing the Challenge of Reconceptualising Academic Work and Regenerating the Academic Workforce
Bexley, Emmaline; James, Richard; Arkoudis, Sophie
Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Australia has an ageing academic workforce and the nation's capacity to refresh, build and maintain this workforce during a period of expansion in tertiary education participation needs urgent consideration. To inform possible strategies to recruit and retain academic staff, this study investigates the current attitudes of the academic profession in Australia towards academic work and academic careers. The research was conducted across 20 universities and a total of 5,525 responses were received from Australia's academics, including sessional and casual staff. This research shows, as have a number of previous studies, that Australian academics are highly intrinsically motivated and most find their careers rewarding. However, the study also points to challenges for the future management of the academic profession if projected increases in student participation are not matched by new staff appointments. Many academics indicate that they are struggling to manage existing workloads. While the findings suggest that the satisfaction academics gain from their scholarly activities to some extent mitigates problems related to working conditions, protecting the future quality of teaching and research will require careful consideration of work design, workloads and working conditions. This study provides a basis for policy-makers and university managers to meet the challenge of building and maintaining a robust academic workforce. One key step, among others suggested in this report, is a reconfiguration of the way academic work is conceived, valued and rewarded through recruitment, confirmation and promotion processes. Appended are: (1) Method and sample composition; (2) Expanded tables for Section 6; (3) Replenishing the academic workforce: A comparison of the CSHE 2010 survey of academic staff and the National Research Students Survey; and (4) The survey Instrument. (Contains 18 figures, 24 tables, and 2 footnotes.) [This report was prepared for the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.]
Centre for the Study of Higher Education. Level 1, 715 Swanston Street, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia. Tel: +61-3-8344-4605; Fax: +61-3-8344-7576; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Melbourne Univ. (Australia). Centre for the Study of Higher Education.
Identifiers - Location: Australia