Statement from the University of Birmingham

Statement from the University of Birmingham in response to the Guardian’s article on universities adopting a ‘Sports Direct’ model for lecturer’s pay.

This article is false and the figures quoted in it are extremely misleading. While the University recognises that a significant number of individuals engaged in teaching are not on standard contracts, they provide only a small fraction of teaching (about 7%), because most of them are engaged for a small fraction of a full-time equivalent post. Many of the people in this category are expert visiting lecturers, from commerce, industry and the professions, who provide practical support and insight to our students based on their own experience; and others are our own research students, who communicate their enthusiasm for scientific endeavour to undergraduate students through their work as laboratory demonstrators or tutorial assistants, under the supervision of academic staff. We believe these individuals enhance the learning experiences of our students.