The number of female academics employed on a full-time basis in higher education has increased by 5% since December 2013, a Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) report has shown.

The report also highlights an increase in female professors, now accounting for 23% of professors within higher education.

The total increase of 2,535 more female academics makes up the majority of the increase of academics in full-time employment.

“There is still a large discrepancy between the number of male and female academics”

Overall, the number of people employed in the higher education sector in the UK rose above 400,000 for the first time, with 402,835 people employed at universities in December 2014.

Just under half of these were employed on academic contracts, a rise of 4,100 from December 2013.

Amy Greaves, a second year Physics student, said: “The growth in female academics is obviously a good sign, but there is still a large discrepancy between the number of male and female academics.”

The rise in full-time academics was partly offset by a reduction in the number of part-time academics, whose numbers fell by 1% over the same period.

Of those employed by universities, a total of 205,500 worked on “non-academic” contracts in the 2013-14 academic year; the number of professional and support staff also rose by 2% on the previous year.

The figures used in the HESA report are taken from the 2014-2015 academic year, with employment numbers in 2014 being taken from 1st December. These statistics are compared to the same date in 2013.

Conor Higgs

Image: flickr Markus Spiske

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