Where do Professors Come From?

Posted on November 28, 2011


In my last few posts I have looked at how long it takes between a PhD and an Academic Job both overall and by decade. As part of that same dataset I also collected information on where academic archaeologists got their degrees from. This happened to be a lot easier to obtain then details on when and I got the degree grant institute for 333 out of 442 academic archaeologist in the UK.

Aberdeen 1 0.3%
Birkbeck, University of London 1 0.3%
University of Birmingham 5 1.5%
Bournemouth University 1 0.3%
University of Bradford 14 4.2%
University of Bristol 5 1.5%
Cambridge 61 18.3%
University of Wales College of Cardiff 5 1.5%
Durham 18 5.4%
East Anglia 1 0.3%
University of Edinburgh 13 3.9%
University of Exeter 2 0.6%
University of Glasgow 10 3.0%
Hull 3 0.9%
University of Central Lancashire 1 0.3%
Leeds 3 0.9%
University of Leicester 9 2.7%
University of Liverpool 3 0.9%
University of Manchester 3 0.9%
University of Newcastle upon Tyne 5 1.5%
University of Nottingham 2 0.6%
Open University 1 0.3%
Oxford 24 7.2%
Queens University Belfast 2 0.6%
University of Reading 9 2.7%
University of Sheffield 21 6.3%
University of Southampton 17 5.1%
St. Andrews 1 0.3%
University College London 36 10.8%
UHI 1 0.3%
Winchester 1 0.3%
University of York 7 2.1%
UK Total 286 85.9%
Non-UK Total 47 14.1%
Total 333 100%

The interesting part is that around 14% of staff got their degrees from non-UK Universities. I really wonder if this is reciprocal and the UK exports an equal number of academics or if they import more then they export. Either way I am pretty sure the British National Party (BNP) is not happy about (for you not from the UK the BNP is a fascists party against any sort of immigration).

As you can see there are some universities that produce a huge percentage of the academics in the UK. This gives these universities a bit of a strangle hold on academic thought in the UK. Not saying that archaeologists can’t think for themselves but most people are a product of their environments. A well placed idea in one of the top institutes (Cambridge, UCL, etc.) could potentially spread throughout the UK academic world and be reproduced at a new location. Hhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmm didn’t Ian Hodder and Post-Prosessual theory, that currently dominates UK academic archaeology, come out of Cambridge? Didn’t Danial Miller work at UCL which provides 10% of academics. Also, didn’t Chris Tilley study at Cambridge (as did Michael Shanks) and then teach at UCL. Wasn’t Peter Ucko the head of UCL. Hhhhhhhmmmmmm.

No, I am not implying that Post-Prosessual thought only came to dominate because Ian Hodder and the other prominent post-prosessualists were at the Universities that provided 30% of all academic archaeologists. That degrades the work of these archaeologists to implied innuendos of which I have no proof. However, I would wonder if it ever would have gotten so far if lets say they had all taught at the Open University; now that would be an experiment in time travel.