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In late 2014, Lancaster University will take on another 40 academics within various departments. £2.57 million will be spent on acquiring these academics, showcasing increasingly positive intent from the University to invest into its educational base and reinforce the University’s reputation as a world-leading, educational establishment.
The Vice-Chancellor’s report to the University council outlined the decision to hire the academics for their respective posts. The £2.7 million that has been released for this initiative is made up of £770,000 that has been already approved from previous years, and an additional £1.8 million in new investment.
The University told SCAN: “This investment will improve staff-student ratios and contribute to student experience as well as research”.
Last year Lancaster University invested £3.4 million into the recruitment of new resident academics, showing a long standing commitment of continuously improve teaching and education resources at the University. A spokesperson for University House told SCAN that “with the £2.5 million this year, we have invested £5 million in new academics over the last two years, which is a sizeable and important investment that indicates our continued growth as we attract the highest quality staff worldwide”.
With the University currently standing at 145th worldwide and 11th in the United Kingdom, this move of drafting in an exciting new coterie of academics at the top of their respective fields is part of an effort to enhance Lancaster’s overall standings.
VP (Education), Joe O’Neill, also expressed his delight at the acquisition of new academics for the coming year, telling SCAN: “I’m always pleased to see the University investing in academia – an investment in staff is an investment in students. Lancaster has to continue to attract the best academics possible to cement our position as a top university.”
However O’Neill hastened to add, “I hope the University’s management realises that with the ongoing pay dispute still unresolved we will struggle to invest in academia in future. Only when we begin to address fair pay in higher education will we ensure the ability of our institution to compete globally.”
These lasting remarks pose, from a student perspective, a slight concern with regards to the bigger picture. Whilst pay dispute stands as a popular point of debate in Universities across the length and breadth of the country, Lancaster remains confident that this move will positively enrich student’s education experience at Lancaster as well as improve the University’s research output as a global institution.