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Academic Systems and Professional Conditions in Five European Countries

  • Alessandro Cavalli (a1) and Roberto Moscati (a2)
Abstract

Despite the tendency to create a European Higher Education and Research area, academic systems are still quite different across Europe. We selected five countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway and the UK) to investigate how the differences have an impact on a number of aspects of the working conditions of academic staff. One crucial aspect is the growing diversification of professional activity: reduction of tenured and tenure tracked position, the growing number of fixed-term contracts for both teaching and research, including the growing recruitment of academic staff from external professional fields. These changes are connected with the changing functions of higher education systems and signal the growing openness of higher education institutions to their outside social and economic environment. To understand these trends one has to take into consideration the different degree in which systems distinguish between teaching and research functions. A second aspect has to do with career paths, their regulation, their length and speed. Here, the history of recruitment and career mechanisms in different countries are of particular importance because the different systems went through different periods of change and stability. Also connected to career is the willingness and the opportunity to move from one position to another, both within and outside the academic world. A third aspect deserving attention that is connected to mobility is the professional satisfaction among academic staff in the five systems considered.

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The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence . The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
References
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European Review
  • ISSN: 1062-7987
  • EISSN: 1474-0575
  • URL: /core/journals/european-review
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