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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The type of work staff undertake in English higher education institutions falls into two main categories:

  • academic roles, such as professors and research assistants
  • professional and support roles, such as managers and directors.

Just over half of staff are in the second category.

Over the ten years, professional and support staff numbers increased by 8 per cent to reach almost 150,000 in 2012-13.

In the same period, numbers of academic staff employed at higher education institutions have increased by more than twice that amount: by 20 per cent to reach 125,900 in 2012-13. 

A third category – atypical academic staff – are mostly those on very short or flexible contracts (see Note 1). They showed a decrease of 16 per cent in numbers (13,385) in the seven-year period 2004-05 to 2012-13. 

Breakdowns by job type

For the first time in 2012-13 detailed information on job types is available:

  • higher education institutions in England employ 700 institutional strategic leaders and 1,715 senior managers
  • among academic staff, approximately 3,415 members of staff are in an academic leadership role, 13,855 are employed as professors, and 11,725 are research assistants
  • among professional and support staff, approximately 8,070 are managers and directors, 28,365 are employed in professional occupations and 33,585 are non-academic professionals.

See the full interactive data


  1. See a full definition of ‘Atypical staff
  2. The data are initially collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) as part of their annual Staff Record and then analysed by HEFCE.