Should we abolish compulsory retirement for academics?
Here is a story from Australia. There are reports that the ageing academic population there is creating a time bomb for higher education. Over half of lecturing staff are over 50 years old, and as they move towards retirement there may be insufficient resources to replace them; and indeed the visible crisis in higher education is in any case prompting young people to look for other careers.
This is not a uniquely Australian problem. The age profile of academics in a number of countries and in several universities is a cause for concern, and I believe that it is true that lecturing is now a much less attractive career for those coming out of education. Of course we need to address this in a number of ways, but one option should be to look at the end of compulsory (as distinct from voluntary) retirement in universities. In the United States this has already been done, and the impact has been positive. Is it time to think again over here?