How serious is the task of rebuilding the Australian research and academic career?

Earlier this week I published a review of a new book by Dr Richard Hil called “Whackademia”. The book makes a pointed critique of the Australian Higher Education system for an excessively casualised workforce. A couple of months ago Jen Tsen Kwok, a PhD student at the University of Queensland and a Policy and Research Officer at the National Education Tertiary Union (NTEU) joined us in a live #phdchat on Twitter to talk about just this topic.

I asked Jen if he would like to put some of the data he talked about in a post as a lot of people expressed interest in the figures. This post is twice as long as usual, but I thought it was important to give sufficient space to sketch out the issues – knowledge is power after all! I want to thank Jen for taking the time to write this for us.