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Skills Shortages Boost Pay in Higher Education

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Higher education faces a shortage of teachers in maths, science and engineering with employers willing to pay more for academic staff qualified in these subjects, according to research by Lifelong Learning UK.

The skills shortages also extend to generic skills such as management, computer literacy and team working.

The LLUK report, based on data collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, reveals the number of permanent staff teaching engineering and related subjects fell by 14% between 1995/6 and 2003/4. For maths, chemistry and physics, there were decreases of 10%.

Employers responded to the skills shortages by increasing pay so that, by 2003/4, a typical physics lecturer could expect to earn £5,970 more than the average academic. Chemistry lecturers were earning £4,640 above the median for academic staff while, in maths and engineering, lecturers received respectively £3,970 and £2,400 above the norm.

The study showed there were 214,940 full-time and 103,585 part-time staff working in 171 institutions across the UK.

It is expected to assist workforce planning by universities and other higher education institutions.

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