Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

More Academic Leaders from Arts Than Science

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

More Academic Leaders from Arts Than Science

Article excerpt

The majority of academic leaders at English universities come from the arts, humanities and social sciences, disproportionately outweighing their colleagues from science, figures show.

Scholars in arts, humanities and social science disciplines comprise 55 per cent of all academics but almost 70 per cent of all heads of departments, centres and schools, also known as "academic leaders", according to data compiled by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

By contrast, 34 per cent of all academics work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and just 25 per cent of academic leaders have a background in these subjects.

Amanda Goodall, senior lecturer in management at the Cass Business School at City University, said that the data partially reflect the higher number of departments in the arts, humanities and social sciences compared with STEM.

Independent data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency suggest that there are 1,613 departments in the arts, humanities and social sciences in England, more than double the 739 STEM departments. This could mean that there are fewer opportunities for academics in STEM subjects to move into leadership, Dr Goodall said. …

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