Including older academics in the English university: a matter of social justice

Rosalyn George*, Meg Maguire

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In the UK a ‘crisis’ has been manufactured around the so-called baby boomer generation. It has been claimed that this demographic (those born between 1946 and 1964) have benefitted from supportive public policies throughout their lives and are still continuing to access advantages but at some cost to younger generations. For example, policies that offer protection against age discrimination coupled with the end of mandatory retirement have offered baby boomers the opportunity to extend their working lives. In choosing to remain in paid work when they could have retired, it has been claimed that older workers limit employment opportunities for younger people. This paper explores the perceptions and experiences of twelve older academics from the baby boomer generation who have stayed on in their posts and asks questions about social justice issues; that is, issues of distribution, inclusion and recognition. We argue that discourses that malign and/or exclude older academics need to be disrupted and that a kinder alignment between employers, managers, and differently-aged university employees may go some way to dispelling any concerns about intergenerational unfairness.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date21 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2020


  • Ageism
  • inclusion
  • social justice


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