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data publication
25 October 2021

University personnel by function category and temporary contract

The indicator shows trends in university scientific personnel by function category: overall and the share of temporary personnel.

In short

  • All categories of university personnel have been increased (fte) from 1998 until 2020.
  • The number of PhD's has been doubled from 1998 until 2003.
  • Almost all PhD candidates have a temporary contract.

Overview of graphs

Graph 1: University personnel by function category
Graph 2: The share of temporary university personnel by function category
Graph 3: Development of fixed term contracts and permanent positions at universities

 

1. University personnel by function category

 

Additional information WOPI


Analysis graph 1

  • The number of PhD's has been doubled from 1998 until 2003. The growth in the number of PhD's slows down after 2011, but increases again from 2016 onwards.
  • The category "other scientific personnel" shows an incline from 2004 onwards.
  • After remaining constant from 1997 until 2005, the number of professors is slightly increasing since 2006 with a steeper incline in 2016.
  • After a declining trend in the number of assistant professors from 1998 until 2006, the number of assistant professors is slightly increasing since 2007 until 2018.
  • The category Support and management staff (not included in the figure due to its relatively substantial size) has been increased from 16,846 to 20,494 fte (over 22%) in the period 1998-2020

 

2. The share of temporary university personnel by function category

Analysis graph 2

  • In the period 2005-2020, the percentage of temporary contracts of associate professors and PhD students remains fairly constant. Almost all PhD candidates have a temporary contract.
  • Among assistant professors the number of temporary contracts increased until 2015 after which it slighty decreased until 2018. In 2019 and 2020 the number of temporary contracts decreased.
  • A similar decrease of temporary contracts until 2018 has been shown for professors.
  • In 2020 the percentage of temporary contracts decreases for all job categories, with exception of professors and other scientific personnel.

 

3. Development of fixed term contracts and permanent positions at universities 

Analysis

Looking at the total scientific staff, an increase in the percentage of temporary contracts is observed until 2012. The percentage of temporary contracts remains stable until 2016 (61%) after which it decreases until 2018 (57%). In 2019 the percentage of temporary contracts has increased to 59%. In 2020 the increase continued. 61% of the total scientific staff had a temporary contract.

28.942
fte scientific personnel (2020)
61%
has a temporary contract (2020)
83%
of other scientific personnel has a temporary contract (2020).
Definitions and abbreviations