Project 7

A historical lens on higher education staffing: UK and France

This project was a continuation of CGHE Project 2.1, ‘Higher education participation and macro-economic fluctuations: a historical and comparative study.’ The project examined trends and patterns in academic staffing in the UK and France since the 1920s.

About this project

These trends were cross-examined with socioeconomic data to establish relations between economic fluctuations, social change and the evolution of the higher education workforce, including the transformation of work and practices within the sector.

The key research questions were the following: What are the key trends in the development of academic staffing in higher education since the 1920s in the UK and France? To which extent are those changes related to socioeconomic fluctuations and particularly economic crises? The project will develop a historical and comparative analysis of the origins of the historical connections and tensions between trends in funding, enrolment and staffing within HE and assess their wider implications.


IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society
Vincent Carpentier is a Reader in History of Education at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. He was responsible for CGHE Project 7, ‘A historical lens on higher education staffing: UK and France’. Key outcomes from this project included papers such as Three Stories of Institutional Differentiation: Resource, Mission and Social Inequalities in Higher Education (Policy Reviews in Higher Education 2021) and Academic Workforce in France and the UK in Historical Perspectives (Comparative Education 2023- with Emmanuelle Picard), recently reported in the Conversation (2023) . He was also a Co-Investigator on Project 8, ‘Local and global public good of higher education: 10 nation study’ examining the French context presented in the paper Public Good in French Universities: Principles and practices of the “Republican” Model of Higher education (Compare 2022- with Aline Courtois).


CGHE working papers

Additional publications

Other outputs