Income (in)equality among the professoriate

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“Salary progression”—the difference in salary between junior and senior professors—in general appears modest compared to the situation in the professions outside academe. According to our research, for most of the 15 countries in the study, salaries seldom doubled between entry level and senior ranks. The major industrialized countries (including Germany, France, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom) stood at the bottom, in terms of variations between junior and senior ranks, and the developing countries (such as China, South Africa, Argentina, and others) at the top. India ranks poorly on both progression and on basic salary. The lack of possibilities for improved salaries is a problem for the profession in general, but it is particularly damaging for the most productive academics. The latter are the most likely to leave academe or to go to countries with higher salaries.

That is from a new article by Philip Altbach, Director of the Center for International Higher Education, called The Intricacies of Academic Remuneration. Of course, we must take into account the many types of non-income remuneration that academics receive. But still I wonder - what are the chances that the professiorate (or Ministries of Education) would permit the kind of income dispersion that is normally seen in the (purely) private sector? I'm not holding my breath. 


Ryan Hahn

Operations Officer

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