In trawling through the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings list published recently, I found that of the ten universities in the English-speaking world with the highest student-staff ratios, seven are Australian. This suggests that recruitment has not kept pace with the growth in student numbers in the era of the ‘massification’ of higher education.
Indeed if one looks only at universities in Australia and the UK universities, nine of the ten highest student/staff ratios are Australian universities. Only the Open University, with its mass distance-learning model, makes the list, despite the fact that Britain has more than double the number of universities. The same ratio applies when measuring overall student numbers. Again only the Open University makes the top ten. While numerous Australian universities enrol more than thirty thousand full-time equivalent students in the UK only Nottingham and Open Universities do so.