‘Administrative bloat’ – the idea that universities have too many administrators – is hot topic in debates around higher education in the US and elsewhere. Is there a similar problem in New Zealand universities?
This is the first report to date on non-academic employees at New Zealand universities. It presents and analyses a range of data from the Ministry of Education and from universities themselves to build up an accurate and granular picture of the scale and composition of New Zealand universities’ administrative staffing.
It also puts these figures into an international context, comparing New Zealand universities, whenever possible, with their peer institutions in four other English-speaking countries (Australia, the UK, the US, and Canada).
It covers topics such as the emergence of the managerial university, the salaries of vice-chancellors, and the changing composition of university bureaucracies.
It also shows that non-academics currently make up the majority of employees at New Zealand universities. Indeed, of all the university systems we looked at, New Zealand employs the most non-academics for every academic member of staff.
Is this large bureaucracy a blessing for our universities, or another case of administrative bloat? It’s a debate that we in New Zealand need to have, and one that this report will help inform.
Click here to download the two-page summary of Blessing or Bloat? Non-Academic Staffing in New Zealand Universities in Comparative Perspective