Higher Education

, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 875–889 | Cite as

Recasting the academic workforce: why the attractiveness of the academic profession needs to be increased and eight possible strategies for how to go about this from an Australian perspective

  • Hamish Coates
  • Leo Goedegebuure


This article analyses academic work and the academic workforce in the context of current dynamics and likely futures. It discusses the significance of academic work, reviews workforce characteristics, and analyses tensions and pressures. Prevailing conceptualisations, it is argued, do not reflect the current situation in which the profession finds itself, and would provide a very shaky foundation on which to build the future workforce. There is an overarching need for a fresh conceptualisation of academic work that is authentic and feasible and suggestions are offered of what this might look like. A number of strategies are proposed how such a recasting might be implemented. The paper works from Australian research, and make suggestions for other systems.


Academic workforce Academic work Workforce planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LH Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership and ManagementUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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