29 Sep 2009

Universities to work together on projected shortage of staff

10:01 am on 29 September 2009

Universities in New Zealand are banding together to avert a looming national shortage of academic staff.

Widespread retirement by baby-boomer academics and a struggle to lure younger personnel from offshore are the two main reasons.

The New Zealand Vice Chancellor's Committee is looking ahead to 2020. Steering committee chair Kevin Seales says the crunch points are likely to be in medicine, health and engineering.

Brazil, Russia, China and India are leading a worldwide demand for academics.

The Tertiary Education Union says chronic underfunding in the sector has been made worse by the axing in the Budget of $50 million, earmarked for academic salaries.