The academic exodus: the role of institutional support in academics leaving universities and the academy

Troy A. Heffernan, Amanda Heffernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies argue that in the next 5 years, the higher education sector will see half to two-thirds of its academic workforce leave the academy due to retirement, career burnout, or job dissatisfaction. This study surveyed over 100 working academics in Australia, North America, and the United Kingdom to determine their aspirations for remaining within, or leaving, the academy. The study found that the professional development and career support available to academics played major roles in their career satisfaction. The study’s significance lies in highlighting the types of support academics most value. The paper also explores what motivates participants’ intentions to remain in, or leave, their current positions, or the academy entirely. This assessment occurs at a time when the literature indicates that a significant period of staff turnover is imminent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-113
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Academic development
  • academic support
  • career intention
  • higher education

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