Sessional Teachers in Australian Higher Education

Project Information

Year Funded:2006
Grant (ex GST):$199,621
Project Status:Completed
Project Reference:CG6-52
Program:Competitive Grants
Project Discipline:(X) Not disciplinary based
Project Keywords:Induction, Sessional recruitment, Sessional teachers, Training for teaching

Lead Institution

The University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales

Partner Institutions

James Cook University, Southern Cross University, The University of Western Australia, University of Canberra, University of New England, University of South Australia, University of Wollongong

Project Team

Ms Michele Scoufis (Project Leader),

Project Findings

This project sought to establish the extent of the contribution made by sessional teachers to higher education; to identify good practice examples for dissemination; and to consider possible developments for institutional and sector-wide improvements to the quality enhancement of sessional teaching. This project built on the Australian Universities Teaching Committee report (2003a) 'Training, support and management of sessional teaching staff'. It analysed current national practice with the aim of refocusing attention on issues surrounding sessional teachers; and found that all universities depend heavily on sessional teachers but are typically unable to report comprehensive and accurate data on the number of sessional teachers and their conditions of employment. Estimates suggest that sessional teachers are responsible for as much as half the teaching load, performing a range of duties from casual marker to subject coordinator. Sessional teachers thus make a significant but largely invisible and undervalued contribution to the quality of teaching and learning in higher education. The report discusses institutional quality enhancements of sessional teaching under five domains that emerged from the study: systemic and sustainable policy and practice; employment and administrative support; induction and academic management; career and professional development; and reward and recognition.


The RED Report - Recognition, Enhancement, Development - The contribution of sessional teachers to higher education

Alisa Percy, Michele Scoufis, Sharon Parry, Allan Goody, Margaret Hicks, Ian Macdonald, Kay Martinez, Nick Szorenyi-Reischl, Yoni Ryan, Sandra Wills, Lynn Sheridan
The University of New South Wales
The University of New South Wales
ACU National, JCU, SCU, UNE, UniSA, UoW, UWA
The RED Report Download Document (380.93 KB)
The RED Resource Download Document (799.5 KB)

The information on this project's page was updated 13 December, 2013.


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