When it comes to professional development, let’s not forget part-time lecturers

Martin Andrews, Ruth Lang

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Part-time employees made up more than 60 per cent of teaching-only staff in UK higher education in 2021-22, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa). With universities increasingly reliant on part-time tutors to deliver courses, there is a need to address the lack of discipline-specific professional development opportunities for these staff who are often practitioner-teachers. This would ensure that institutions’ teaching objectives and assessment procedures were better communicated, supported and reinforced, and that old ways of teaching – underpinned by social, racial and socio-economic inequality – are not perpetuated.

In 2000, David J. Nicol highlighted the challenges faced by part-time teachers in UK higher education, emphasising role ambiguity, lack of structured mentoring, inconsistent support systems and the need for professional development. This situation remains largely unchanged.

The lack of contract time available for training or collaboration with full-time staff, and potential issues relating to lack of appreciation of codes of conduct, learning outcomes and the misinterpretation of assessment procedures are just a few pitfalls that need to be considered. This article explores how institutions can better support part-time dual professionals in the delivery of high-quality education.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationTimes Higher Education Campus
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2023


  • education
  • higher education
  • part time staff
  • full time staff
  • contract law
  • architecture education
  • professional development
  • CPD
  • tutor training

Cite this