Demographics, Career and Academic Self-Understanding: A Comparative View

Galaz-Fontes, Jesús F.; Arimoto, Akira; Teichler, Ulrich and Brennan, John (2016). Demographics, Career and Academic Self-Understanding: A Comparative View. In: Galaz-Fontes, Jesús F.; Arimoto, Akira; Teichler, Ulrich and Brennan, John eds. Biographies and Careers throughout Academic Life. The Changing Academy – The Changing Academic Profession in International Comparative Perspective, 16. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27493-5_17

Abstract

This last chapter of the book uses an analytical approach in which academics’ demographics, career and self-understanding (values and perspectives) is understood to be a non-linear and complex function of the country in which academics work, the regulations and policies regarding higher education, and the specific institutions in which they work. Additionally, such aspects of the academic profession are seen as influenced by several global issues: a more demanding managerial environment, larger expectations for relevance and an increasing internationalization in response to global tendencies in higher education expansion, an economy more dependant on knowledge and a tendency for world-class universities. The chapter summarizes and expands the information and analysis provided in the book chapters regarding academics’ social background, gender, various family issues, age and academic career, mobility and several academic values and perspectives. The chapter ends pointing out several trends that are similar in the majority of the countries that participated in the CAP (Changing Academic Profession) project, as are the reduction in gender inequity, the improvement of the situation faced by junior academics, the increasing proportion of academics holding a doctoral degree and their relatively high satisfaction levels. Notwithstanding such similar trends, the fact remains that even in them there is considerable variation between countries, which speak of the complex environment in which nowadays contemporary academics live and work.

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