Young scholars in the UK, the US and elsewhere are increasingly being told they have a huge chance of being hired as freelancers, freelance writers or contractors, despite the fact that they are only a year or so away from graduation and their studies have been in progress for several years.
And yet, in the face of such evidence, a new group of academics, who are calling for a rethink of how to recruit young scholars, is warning that the UK could be heading for an “academic crisis”.
The Future of Research and Scholarship conference, which was held last month in London, saw a host of authors speak about the problems of recruitment and retention.
Some were more cautious than others.
One of the organisers of the conference, Professor Nick Grewal, from the University of Sheffield, said the UK had “lost its identity” as a destination for young scholars.
“The UK has a reputation as a place of university research and scholarship.
We’re doing that in other countries, but it’s not in the United Kingdom,” he said.
“Young scholars are not necessarily going to come to the UK for a research-based career, so we have to find ways to help them find opportunities outside of research.”
The UK has not had a shortage of scholars over the past decades, and many are young people who are keen to study a subject they love.
But the number of graduates in the country who are working in academic research and teaching has been dwindling for some time.
Prof Grewall, who has written a book on the issue, said there had been a “tipping point” for some universities where they had not been able to attract young researchers, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In some cases, students had left the university in order to pursue a higher education.
Prof Peter Bower, the co-founder of the Centre for Educational Policy and Practice (CEPP), a research organisation at Sheffield University, said that in recent years the UK was increasingly being seen as a “championship nation” for research and academia, but there was a “march towards austerity” at a time when many academics were struggling.
“There are some very real consequences of that,” he told the New Scientist.
“We’re seeing a crisis in recruitment for academics in particular, where we’re not seeing people who want to come here for research but who are desperate to do so.”
This has resulted in fewer young scholars being hired by universities and in many cases, their prospects of success are slim, he said, adding that the “dismal” recruitment practices at some universities had contributed to the decline in the number and quality of research and educational opportunities available to students.
Prof Bower said that the issue was not just academic, but also social.
“People want to do things with their friends,” he explained.
“I’m not saying it’s just academic; it’s social.
For many young people, there is an inherent pressure to pursue research as a way of making a living, and the prospects of finding a job are slim. “
If you have a situation where you’re just not able to afford a house and can’t get a job, then there’s a real fear that you’re going to leave university and that’s going to impact on your life in some way.”
For many young people, there is an inherent pressure to pursue research as a way of making a living, and the prospects of finding a job are slim.
“It’s not just about academic,” said Prof Gredell.
Prof Greadall said he had personally experienced the pressure to work as a researcher, and how the pressure affected him. “
But you have to think about your future and what you’re looking for in terms of what you want to achieve, and there’s not a lot of jobs out there.”
Prof Greadall said he had personally experienced the pressure to work as a researcher, and how the pressure affected him.
“When I started in the university I had to leave early and go to another part of the country, where it was much harder to get jobs and I had no access to my friends,” said the sociology professor.
“In a few years, I’ve had to change my whole approach to what I do. “
“Now I think I have a different set of values that I hold and a different way of doing things, and it’s been very rewarding.” “
Prof Bowers said he believed that the recruitment of young scholars needed to change, but that there were many things that universities could do to help, including more incentives for universities to hire more young people. “
Now I think I have a different set of values that I hold and a different way of doing things, and it’s been very rewarding.”
Prof Bowers said he believed that the recruitment of young scholars needed to change, but that there were many things that universities could do to help, including more incentives for universities to hire more young people.
However, he acknowledged that it was difficult to change recruitment practices without changes in policies and legislation.
He pointed to the government’s new student loan policy