Doctor Who Required

Universities are increasingly demanding that new academics hold doctorates in a trend that some believe could accelerate when the tuition-fee cap rises to £9,000 a year.

The proportion of UK academic staff with doctorates rose from 48 per cent in 2004-05 to 50.1 per cent in 2009-10, according to data prepared for Times Higher Education by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Some pre-1992 universities, such as City University London and Birkbeck, University of London, have made PhDs a standard job specification for all new scholars.

City only recently made PhDs compulsory. Paul Curran, its vice-chancellor, said: “All of our new permanent academic staff are expected to engage in high-quality research and so, as a minimum, we require them to have a doctorate.

“Of course, such a research expectation would not be reasonable for new academic staff who join us without research training, and so we support them to obtain a doctorate before their contract is made permanent.”

The proportion of academics with doctorates is already far higher in pre-92 universities (62.7 per cent in 2009-10) than in post-92 ones (29 per cent).

But the figures may become more significant under the new fee regime: in the US, it is common for colleges to advertise the proportion of staff with doctorates in a bid to woo prospective students.

Read full story. Thankfully I do hold a PhD, and one of only (apparently) 5% to pass with no corrections!

Second World War Posters
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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