A recent National Union of Students (NUS) report has shown that the number of academic staff in universities across the country has fallen by an average of one percent.
This comes amid rising tuition fees, and may lead some students to wonder if they will still receive high quality and cost-effective education from Britain’s universities.
However, the number of academic staff at the University of Sussex has not followed this trend, and has in fact increased over the past two years.
As of 1 December 2011, the University of Sussex had 931 members of academic staff, including staff at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which is a joint venture with the University of Brighton.
Staff figures have not widely varied from this figure in the past few years, with 917 members of staff on 1 December 2010 and 913 members of staff on 1 December 2009.
The number of professors at the university has also not varied broadly over this time, with 161 professors in 2009, 159 in 2010 and 158 in 2011. The University of Sussex commented that these figures must be viewed in the context of the continuing external pressures on the finances of all universities.
They said: “at Sussex we have approaches thid framework for growth and development of the University. This has involved making targeted reductions in specific areas with substantial deficits and investing in areas of growth and new degree courses in areas that today’s students want to study.”
“This growth strategy has established Sussex firmly in the UK top 15 universities and has led to the number of students at the university reaching 12,000 for the first time.”
It is of course essential for excellent courses to have excellent staff, and the university have already set about recruiting new staff members to teach further courses, including six academic posts in the school of Business, Management and Economics, and five new posts for the teaching of Law.
The National Student Survey (NSS) went live on 23 January, and will give final-year students the opportunity to evaluate their experiences of teaching at the University of Sussex.
The survey covers teaching, assessment, feedback, academic support, learning resources, and overall satisfaction with the university.