Older Academics: Motivation to Keep Working

Gillian M Boulton-Lewis, Laurie Buys


This is an interpretive – descriptive analysis of responses to 41 open ended questionnaires returned by academicsworking beyond normal retirement age. The sample consisted mainly of academics from the United Kingdom,Australia, and New Zealand. The research addressed the question of what motivates some academics to continueworking beyond the ‘usual’ retirement age. The main motivation for continuing was strong interest and commitment,particularly to research and writing. Some also gave social, financial, and other reasons for continuing. Those not infull time employment described barriers, including finance and facilities and the support that they needed to maintaintheir activities. In most countries institutional and government policies made it possible for them to stay involvedacademically even if it meant making a personal effort. Most of them would have liked better support or recognitionfrom their universities. The results suggest that universities should more actively support older academics incontinuing activity.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v4n6p66

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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