Profile of Academics in Autonomous Universities

Published Date: 11 February 2019 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Assoc Prof Walter Theseira, Nominated Member of Parliament


To ask the Minister for Education what is the breakdown of the number of local and foreign academics, PhD students, non-faculty research staff and non-faculty teaching staff in our autonomous universities by age group, academic discipline and academic rank/position respectively.


1. The breakdown of staff in the Autonomous Universities (AUs) – by academics, non-faculty research staff and non-faculty teaching staff (i.e. adjunct lecturers or associate lecturers), and the proportion of Singaporean Citizens (SCs) in each category is in Table 1. PhD students are not AU staff and take on a range of jobs outside the university after graduation.

Table 1: Number of Academics, Non-Faculty Research Staff and Non-Faculty Teaching Staff in the AUs, and Proportion of SC

Staff Total % of SCs % of Non SCs
Academics 5,600 50% 50%
Non-Faculty Research Staff 8,300 31% 69%
Non-Faculty Teaching Staff 3,700 76% 24%

2. For academics and non-faculty teaching staff, the median ages are around 50. The SC proportions among those who were below 50 years old, and those 50 years and above, are in Table 2. It is not meaningful to compare the SC proportion by age band for researchers, as the overwhelming majority of them are below age 50.

Table 2: Age Profile of Academics and Non Faculty Teaching Staff

Age Band Academics Non-Faculty Teaching Staff
% SC % Non SC % SC % Non SC
Below 50 45% 55% 75% 25%
50 and above 58% 42% 78% 22%
Total 50% 50% 76% 24%

3. SC academics accounted for 50% in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) disciplines and 48% in Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines. The proportion of SCs in SSH disciplines was higher than that of STEM for non-faculty researchers and non-faculty teaching staff. The details are in Table 3.

Table 3: Academic Discipline Breakdown of Academics, Non-Faculty Research Staff and Non-Faculty Teaching Staff

Staff Type SSH STEM
% of SCs % of Non-SCs % of SCs % of Non-SCs
Academics 48% 52% 50% 50%
Non-Faculty Research Staff 47% 53% 27% 73%
Non-Faculty Teaching Staff 85% 15% 70% 30%

4. Of the academics who were holding senior positions of Associate Professors and above, SCs made up 50%.

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