Reduced student numbers could affect academic jobs

Academic jobs are likely to be impacted by any future changes in student numbers, it has been suggested.

Johnny Rich, editor of Push – an independent guide to universities and student finance – noted learning institutes have seen admissions tumble by 54,000 following hikes to tuition fees.

Mr Rich explained this is a significant number, pointing out professors and academics working in higher education may see their positions becoming less predictable as a result of this fall, especially as university income is closely related to student numbers.

“Even for those institutions which have managed to secure enough students, the lack of predictability in income makes it very difficult to plan and to invest,” he added.

Such changes mean academia is no longer considered a secure profession, with threats to employment that are prevalent in other industries now creeping into the world of higher education.

Mr Rich suggested academics may not be as well-equipped as people in other sectors with regard to dealing with this increased pressure, especially as they will want to keep their minds on education and research – the things that matter to them most.