Due to the nature of academic work, many are not surprised to learn that, on average, university lecturers are older than the average workforce.  However,  a new report released by Universities New Zealand serves to highlight the challenges and consequences of an ageing academic workforce, a trend that has become visible around the world.

According to the report’s findings, 43% of New Zealand’s academic workforce “is over 50 and 15% is over 60.”  It also found that kiwi universities “would need 560 to 920 extra academic staff each year until 2020” to replace an ageing workforce and that only “about 500 new staff are recruited annually” today.  As a result, the report concludes that “the quality of university education and research [in New Zealand] is under threat from an ageing academic workforce” and that “the [workforce] outflow will not be replaced and future academic staff requirements will not be met unless the New Zealand universities take action now to address these issues.”

Similar trends can be observed in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Is your country affected by an ageing academic workforce? Share your thoughts with IAHSA on how to best respond to this challenge.

For more information:

Universities New Zealand


The Mercury