Tuesday, February 01, 2011

New Zealand: Universities Confronting Aging Academic Workforce

Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara (Universities NZ) has released a report prepared for it by Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) showing that the universities are facing a shortage of academic staff over the next ten years due to an aging academic workforce and other factors. In addition, the report--"Academic Workforce Planning - Towards 2020"--notes that, coupled with lower funding relative to countries like Australia, the aging workforce is a threat to the future quality of university education and research in New Zealand.

Among other things, the report found that 43% of the academic workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60, that the number of older academic staff is growing and the inflow of younger academics is not keeping pace, and that the academic workforce is aging like other professions but is an older workforce to begin with. Since an aging academic workforce is a global trend and the academic workforce operates within a global labour market that is becoming increasingly competitive, New Zealand universities must work together with the government and private sector on ways universities can recruit sufficient academic staff of international calibre from at home and abroad.

Source: Universities New Zealand Media Release (January 31, 2011)

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