The Changing Academic Profession in the UK: Setting the Scene

Locke, William (2007). The Changing Academic Profession in the UK: Setting the Scene. Research Reports; Universities UK, London, UK.


This research report provides an initial analysis of issues being investigated in a current international study, the Changing Academic Profession, supported by Universities UK and other national higher education bodies. The research is examining the nature and extent of the changes experienced by the academic profession in recent years, the reasons for these changes and their consequences.

The report introduces the international and institutional context for the research, including the expansion of higher education, growing demands from government and others, funding constraints, greater global competition and pressures to be more business-like. Academics themselves are becoming more internationalised, entrepreneurial and professionalised and their roles have diversified and often taken them away from their original disciplines towards new forms of identity and loyalty.

Against this background, the report outlines current characteristics of the academic profession — ie those who teach and/or research — providing a profile of academics in the UK and describing some of the conditions of academic work. The report focuses on the three main themes being
addressed by the study: relevance, internationalisation
and management.

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