01 avril 2012

Pay comparisons: Are you paid as much as other professionals?

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Philip G Altbach and Iván F Pacheco. There have been few global comparisons of academic salaries around the world, but new research paints a picture of a profession that, in many countries, is not valued as a key to the knowledge economy.
Salaries and the terms of faculty appointments and promotion are central to the wellbeing of the academic profession and its contributions to the university. If salaries are inadequate, the ‘best and brightest’ will not be attracted to academe, and those who do teach will be obliged to moonlight, diverting their attention and dedication from their academic work. Additionally, without appropriate contracts and appointments, there is a limited guarantee of academic freedom or expectation of either a stable or satisfying career. Furthermore, in a globalised world, salaries in one country affect academe elsewhere, as professors are tempted to move where remuneration and working conditions are best.
Yet only limited research is available about these issues, within a specific country or comparatively. Comparative studies on academics in many countries are complex, as data are often difficult to obtain; and exchange rates and the standard of living vary across countries. Our research has provided data using purchasing power parity, which permits more realistic salary comparisons. It reveals key trends in 28 diverse countries on all continents.
Significant variations
Not surprisingly, it found significant variations in academic salaries worldwide. As a general rule, salaries were best in wealthier countries, although there are significant variations among them, with the English-speaking academic systems generally paying more than those in continental Europe. Russia and the former Soviet states pay quite low salaries, even when their economies are relatively prosperous.
There were a few surprises. India ranks comparatively high in salaries. China, on the other hand, has invested heavily in its higher education system, particularly in its research universities; yet average academic salaries rank at the bottom.
The research also showed that, in many countries, salary alone does not convey a complete picture of compensation. Academics also depend on other payments and subsidies, from their universities and other sources, to make up the total remuneration package. Chinese universities, for example, provide a complex set of fringe benefits and extra payments to their academic staff for publishing articles, evaluating extra examinations, and for other campus work. In North America and Western Europe, salaries are the main academic income – while elsewhere this does not seem to be the case.
Low salaries and moonlighting
In many countries, salaries are too low to support a middle-class lifestyle locally, and other income is needed. In many of these places, moonlighting is common. Many academics teach at more than one institution. Indeed, the burgeoning private higher education sector in many countries depends on professors from the public universities to teach most classes.
The terms and conditions of academic appointments and subsequent opportunities for advancement available to the academic profession are also of central importance. Among the group of 28 countries, few offer formal tenure to the academic profession, thus perhaps weakening guarantees of academic freedom and providing less job security.
Tenure arrangements, awarded to academics after a careful evaluation of performance, seem largely limited to the United States, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and South Africa in the study. In one country, Saudi Arabia, local academic staff are given permanent appointments at the time of hiring. Some continental European countries provide civil service status to academics in the public universities, and this also provides significant job security. In fact, in most countries, few are fired and few are seriously evaluated. There is a kind of de facto tenure that provides long-term employment for most, without either a guarantee or any means of careful evaluation.
A number of important variations exist in requirements to enter the profession or (when available) to qualify for a tenured-like position. In many countries, a doctoral degree is requisite to become a university professor. In certain European countries (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Russia) a habilitation – similar to a doctoral dissertation – is needed, in addition to the doctoral degree, to achieve the rank of professor. In other countries, a simple bachelor degree is sufficient to be hired as a university teacher. In countries where a PhD is not required, there is a trend to demand higher qualifications; and the masters degree is becoming the minimum requirement, even if it is not mandatory by law.
Migration of talent
Among the countries that pay the best salaries there are some that benefit from an inflow of academics from less wealthy countries. Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and the United States benefit the most from the migration of academic talent. In contrast, many of the countries paying the lowest salaries are considered ‘sender’ countries and some (Armenia, Ethiopia, Israel and Nigeria) have implemented programmes in which better salaries and working conditions are part of the strategy to attract or retain national and international scholars.
In their quest to build world-class education systems, China and Saudi Arabia are aggressively pursuing international faculty, mostly from English-speaking countries, as well as their own expatriates.
In the Chinese case, it has resulted in a big gap between the salary of local professors and international or repatriated ones. Finally, there are countries that are both ‘senders’ and ‘receivers’. For example, South Africa attracts professors from other African nations, but at the same time it frequently suffers brain drain to English-speaking countries – such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States.
Our research shows a range of realities for the academic profession. Some countries offer reasonable salaries and secure and transparent career structures for academics. The English-speaking countries included in this research – Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, to some extent South Africa, and the United States – fall into this category. Western European countries that offer civil service status to academics typically provide decent working conditions and compensation. But even in these nations, the professoriate is inadequately compensated when compared with other highly educated professionals. For the rest, and this includes Russia and the former Soviet Union, China, Latin America (except Brazil) and Nigeria, salaries are low and contracts often lack transparency. India offers reasonably good salaries.
A global comparison presents an array of realities – few of them extraordinarily attractive – for the professoriate. This situation, at least for the 28 countries examined in this research, is certainly problematical for countries at the centre of the global knowledge economy. For academics in those countries with quite low salaries – such as China, Russia, Armenia or Ethiopia – the academic profession faces a crisis. In general, it seems that professors are not considered the elite in the knowledge economy. Rather, they tend to be seen as a part of the skilled labour force that such economy requires.
* Philip G Altbach is Monan University professor and director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College. Iván F Pacheco is research assistant at the CIHE. This article is the first in a series on academic pay based on Paying the Professoriate: A global comparison of compensation and contracts, edited by Philip G Altbach, Liz Reisberg, Maria Yudkevich, Gregory Androushchak and Iván F Pacheco (New York: Routledge, 2012). Additional data can be found on the project website. This research resulted from a collaboration between the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College and the Laboratory of Institutional Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia.

Posté par pcassuto à 18:13 - - Permalien [#]

22 mars 2012

Faculty Pay, Around the World

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy Scott Jaschik. A new analysis of faculty salaries at public universities worldwide -- designed to make comparisons possible by focusing on purchasing power, not pure salaries -- finds that Canada offers the best faculty pay among 28 countries analyzed. Canada comes out on top for those newly entering the academic profession, average salaries among all professors and those at the senior levels. In terms of average faculty salaries based on purchasing power, the United States ranks fifth, behind not only its northern neighbor, but also Italy, South Africa and India.
The figures (see table at end of article) are the result of an unusual research project between the Center for International Higher Education, at Boston College, and the Laboratory for Institutional Analysis at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, in Moscow. The comparisons are designed to bypass a typical hindrance to international comparisons of faculty salaries (or any salaries for that matter): the sharply different costs of living in various countries.
Pure salary comparisons based on exchange rates would find the highest salaries in select Western developed nations. And certainly those countries do well even with the methodology used for this study. That methodology is based on the "purchasing power parity index" (PPP), in which salaries reflect what it takes to purchase similar goods and services in different countries. This enables countries with relatively low salaries (in pure finances) but also with low costs of living to be competitive with others where base pay is much higher.
And that's why it's possible for countries like South Africa and India to appear above the United States. In fact, because the American numbers are based on full-time positions and exclude most adjuncts, the American comparative position may be lower than is indicated. Generally, China and formerly Soviet-dominated countries fare poorly in the comparisons in the study.
The authors of the study are today releasing a series of articles about the project, which will be fully detailed in a forthcoming book from Routledge, Paying the Professoriate: A Global Comparison of Compensation and Contracts (Two of the co-editors of the book, Philip Altbach and Liz Reisberg, are also co-editors of an Inside Higher Ed blog, The World View) Much of the data for the project may be found on the project's website.
In an interview, Altbach, who is director of the Boston College center, noted that there are numerous factors that differ from country to country for which the study could not control. Saudi Arabians pay no taxes, while Western Europeans pay relatively high taxes, he noted. The focus on public higher education faculty has little impact on the many countries without much of a private higher education sector, while in the United States, the sector is influential. Excluding private higher education means that the colleges and universities with the highest salaries are not in the American averages, but private higher education also includes many small colleges that pay on the low end of the scale.)
Even with these various caveats, Altbach said it was important for those who track higher education to start paying attention to the relative economic state of faculty members around the world. "There is a global academic market for talent," he said. Overall, the flow of talent is south to north, but the data reveal important trends beyond that of wealthy nations attracting brain power from less wealthy nations, he said. For example, the relatively solid position for India may suggest an ability of many Indian universities to hold on to academic talent. The relative strength of South Africa, he said, may explain why that country -- while concerned about brain drain to Europe and the United States -- attracts talent from elsewhere in Africa.
Altbach said that the research team members were not surprised by the dominance of Canada in the calculations, but that the healthy positions for Italy, South Africa and India "totally shocked us."
Two countries -- China and India -- have been the focus of many global education watchers in recent years as they have moved rapidly to expand capacity and expertise in their university systems. The study shows India holding its own in international faculty salary comparisons (factoring in cost of living), but not China. This reality has led Chinese universities, Altbach noted, to offer very high Western-style salaries, to a very small number of academics (typically Chinese expats recruited home). The numbers are such a small share of the total Chinese academic labor pool that they don't influence the Chinese totals, he said, but without these deviations from salary norms, China couldn't attract those researchers. India, in contrast, does not permit universities to deviate from salary norms for superstars.
Another area where the countries differ is in the difference between entry-level salaries (averages for assistant professors) and those at the top of their fields (full professors). Across all 28 countries studied, the average ratio of the senior salary average to the junior salary average was 2.06 to 1 (factoring in the PPP). The gaps between senior and junior pay levels were greatest in China (4.3 to 1) and smallest in Norway (1.3 to 1). Western European nations generally had low ratios.
The analysis examines many other issues as well, including fringe benefits, the nature of employment contracts and the existence of tenure (present in only some of the countries studied). Altbach noted that there was one financial finding that was consistent across all of the countries studied: The middle class may be open to academics in many countries, but for most, they are not going to be 1 percenters. "In some countries the academic profession does all right," Altbach said. "But in no country are they treated like a key element of the international knowledge economy. No exception."The following table, using PPP in U.S. dollars, shows monthly average salaries for entry-level, senior-level and average across-the-board salaries for public higher education faculty members. The countries are in order, lowest to highest for average salaries.
Monthly Average Salaries of Public Higher Education Faculty, Using U.S. PPP Dollars

Posté par pcassuto à 23:34 - - Permalien [#]
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14 septembre 2011

Les profs français sont moins bien payés que ceux de l’étranger

Couverture du dernier numéro d'Acteurs publicsPar Sylvain Henry. La rémunération des enseignants français est celle qui a le plus diminué entre 2000 et 2009 au regard des autres pays développés. C’est le constat d’un rapport sur l’éducation publié le 13 septembre. L’enseignement devrait être l’un des sujets majeurs de la campagne présidentielle.
La France est l’un des pays de l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) où le salaire des enseignants, en pourcentage du PIB par habitant, a le plus diminué entre 2000 et 2009. Tel est l’un des enseignements majeurs, vu de France, du rapport “Regards sur l’éducation 2011”, rendu public le 13 septembre par l’OCDE. Dans ce document de 440 pages, véritable mine de chiffres et de statistiques conçue comme une évaluation des systèmes d’enseignement des pays membres, l’OCDE constate: “Le salaire des enseignants a augmenté, en valeur réelle, dans la plupart des pays dont les données sont disponibles, entre 1995 et 2009. La France et la Suisse font figure d’exceptions: le salaire des enseignants y a diminué en valeur réelle durant cette période.”
Un enseignant débutant dans le primaire touche, hors primes, 24006 euros annuels, contre 29767 euros en moyenne dans les pays de l’OCDE et 30150 euros dans l’Union européenne. Si le salaire à l’échelon maximal dans le deuxième cycle du secondaire grimpe à 52150 euros annuels en France, il s’établit respectivement à 53651 euros et 53956 euros dans l’OCDE et dans l’UE.
Nombre d’heures inchangé

“Regards sur l’éducation” se penche également sur le temps d’enseignement, resté pratiquement inchangé dans la majorité des pays, dont la France, entre 2000 et 2009. Dans l’Hexagone, comme en Corée, en Grèce et en Israël, les enseignants donnent 30% d’heures de cours de plus par an en primaire. Ainsi, en 2009, le nombre annuel d’heures d’enseignement s’élevait à 918 en France dans le primaire (779 heures dans l’OCDE), 642 heures dans le premier cycle du secondaire (701 heures dans l’OCDE) et 628 heures dans le 2e cycle du secondaire (656 heures dans l’OCDE). Salaires en baisse pour un nombre d’heures inchangé: le rapport de l’OCDE devrait appuyer les arguments des détracteurs de la politique du gouvernement en matière d’éducation, très remontés depuis la rentrée.
Cover of latest issue of Public Services By Sylvain Henry. French teachers' pay is the one with the largest decline between 2000 and 2009 in relation to other developed countries. That is the conclusion of a report on education published on September 13. Teaching should be one of the major topics of the presidential campaign.
France is one of the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where teacher salaries as a percentage of GDP per capita has decreased the most between 2000 and 2009.
This is one of the major lessons, seen from France, the report "Education at a Glance 2011," released Sept. 13 by the OECD. In this document of 440 pages, wealth of figures and statistics designed as an evaluation of the education systems of member countries, the OECD says: "Teachers' salaries rose in real terms in most countries with data are available, between 1995 and 2009. France and Switzerland are exceptions: teachers' salaries are declining in real terms during this period". More...

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22 avril 2011

The Matter of Faculty Salaries

Five Dollar BillBy Nels P. Highberg. Last week, the Chronicle published a series of articles about faculty salaries (go to this page, and you will find a list of links to the series of articles on the topic). I cringed when I saw them. Initially, I just decided to ignore them and move on to the end-of-semester tasks needing my attention. But the topic of faculty salaries kept needling at me, and I finally realized why. Academics have long been talking about ways to represent the reality of life as a graduate student, adjunct, tenured or tenure-track faculty member, or administrator to others fairly and ethically. We want to make sure that students know what they are getting into if they pursue a PhD. We want to make sure that legislators know what we actually do on a day-to-day basis as they enact laws and budgets shaping university life. We often feel like the realities of our lives do not align with what others think about our lives. And my concern is that articles about salary averages in any kind of general sense contribute to the warped image of life as a university professor.

Here’s the thing. As a tenured department chair in the humanities, I make between $50-55K per year. Some of you will read that and wish you made that much.  Some of you will look at that and think, “Poor guy.” My thought: does it matter?
Surveys of faculty salaries do matter to those who study academic culture at large, and such information can be useful in certain contexts. But, in general, I do wonder if such discussions do more harm than good. Faculty salaries vary greatly for a host of reasons we could barely list in an hour of brainstorming. And what counts as a “good” salary will vary, too.  But isn’t that true of all fields? I am married to a lawyer who is quick to point out that attorney salaries vary incredibly from the $22,000 one makes annually in a nonprofit to the million another makes in a private firm. I have heard doctors say the same thing. And accountants. And engineers. I think it is pretty safe to say that you can pick almost any field and point to examples of those who make very little and those who make a lot. And whether or not that matters depends on the person and their own circumstances. Married, single, or in a polyamorous relationship?  One child, two, none, adopted, biological, by marriage, toddler, or adolescent? Parents alive and able to help out financially or needing money themselves, dead and left behind an inheritance, debt, or nothing? Renting, owning, subletting, roommates, alone? Student loan debt or entering the job force late because of going to graduate school part-time while working to avoid debt?
C’mon, people. We know salaries matter, but we cannot know how they matter because of all the other factors involved. I am well aware that many universities have jobs in my field this year where the starting salary is higher than what I make now. I am also aware that my sister, who never went to college, makes three times more than I do with my PhD, two MAs, and BA. We do need to make it clear to anyone thinking of entering the professoriate that not only may they struggle to find a job, they cannot predict their salary if they get a job. Because of that, I wonder if we get too caught up in stories of averages and use them the wrong ways.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:45 - - Permalien [#]