Universities increasingly turn to short-term contract staff

An increasing number of university academic staff are being employed on temporary contracts, Trouw reports on Friday.


Over the past eight years, the number of academics on short-term contracts has risen by one third – from 30% in 2004 to 40.7% in 2012.

According to the academic staff union Vawo, the rise in short-term contracts poses a risk to scientific research, Trouw said.


One reason the Netherlands dropped out of the top 5 most competitive economies in the world was due to poor links between universities and industry, Trouw points out.

While professors and senior lecturers are usually on permanent contacts, one in three lecturers and researchers in their 30s and 40s is now on a short-term contract. In addition, three quarters of post doctoral researchers have a temporary job.

Even though more women are working in academe, they are far more likely to have a temporary contract than men. Nearly 53% of female Phds had a short-term deal, compared with 34.7% of men, the Vawo research showed.

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