Report №3: Academic staff in higher education: their experiences and expectations
Этот отчёт основан на телефоннои исследовании 809 академиков Великобритании, проведённом в 96 - 97 гг. Опрос касался следующих тем: студенты и их обучение, научные исследования и научное руководство, распределение времени и управление, условия найма на работу.
1.1 This report is based upon a survey of academic staff in higher education carried out in December 1996 and January 1997. The results are adjusted to make them, as far as possible, representative of the expected responses of the full population of UK academics – teachers and researchers, younger and older, in ‘pre-1992’ and ‘1992’ universities.
1.2 Academic staff from 31 institutions were surveyed; the institutions were randomly drawn with a probability proportionate to their size (in terms of number of students). Staff were divided into professors and others, and institutions were asked to provide details of 1 in 10 of the former and 1 in 20 of the latter group – to ensure sufficient numbers of each of the main grades of staff. 1.3 This report covers five broad areas:
1.5 A total of 1,550 names were provided by the institutions. Selected academics were contacted by a letter explaining the survey (see Item 2, Technical Appendix) and, at the same time, sent a time-allocation grid which they were asked to complete in advance. They were then contacted by telephone and interview times were arranged. The interview was conducted by telephone, with a predicted mean duration of 30 to 40 minutes. Within the limited time allocated to field-work, a total of 809 interviews was achieved, making a response rate of 53 per cent – in line with PSI’s commitment to the Committee. Sample members were contacted up to 10 times before being dropped. Two institutions yielded substantially below-average responses, apparently because the time of field-work coincided with exam marking.
1.6 To carry out the analysis, respondents were categorised on the basis of four characteristics:
1.7 The grading categories used reflect HESA conventions and are based upon the relevant salary scales and job titles. They do not always reflect fully what the staff concerned do with their time, or how they perceive their duties or internal titles. Thus, the survey asked respondents to say whether they were involved only in teaching, only in research, or did both. Many ‘researchers’ also taught – they did not only do research. This seems particularly true in the ‘1992’ universities (although sample numbers were low).
1.8 Although institutions providing samples were asked to classify staff according to whether they were professors, or professional equivalents, according to the HESA schema, the correspondence between themselves was far from perfect.
1.9 The mismatch was large across the sector as a whole, but larger for ‘1992’ universities than for ‘pre-1992’. This reflects the propensity of ‘1992’ university staff heading departments to adopt a professorial role.