One of the most highly skilled and prestigious professions in Britain, university teaching, is now dominated by zero-hours contracts, temp agencies and other forms of precarious work, the Guardian can reveal.
New analysis reveals that it is the richest Russell Group institutions that rely most heavily on insecure academic workers. The Guardian investigation has led trade unionists to accuse vice-chancellors of “importing the Sports Direct model” into British universities. It has also prompted the National Union of Students to warn that low-paid and overstressed tutors may not be providing quality education to undergraduates paying tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year.
Academics teaching or doing research in British universities will typically have spent years earning doctorates or other qualifications, yet more than half of them – 53% – manage on some form of insecure, non-permanent contract.
Author: Aditya Chakrabortty
Published: Wed Nov 16 2016 10:03:03 GMT-0500 (EST)