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Senior academics largely drawn from the arts 19.09.14

THE: 70% of academic leaders have an arts, humanities or social science background

Academics with scientific degrees are significantly outnumbered in senior positions across universities, schools and further education centres in the UK.

According to data released by HEFCE, only 55% of all academics come from a humanities background whereas the same community makes up 75% of academic leadership.

Given the UK has twice as many departments in arts, humanities and social sciences than it does in STEM subjects, the limited number of scientifically trained department heads is hardly surprising.

Rajani Naidoo, director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management at the University of Bath, told the Telegraph that an understanding of the higher education landscape may be a more important factor than a candidate’s academic background.  She added: “Academics will have much more trust in a leader who had an academic standing in the field.”

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