Human Resources Challenges in the Higher Education Sphere

Education, in general, and higher education, is a quite complicated sphere that bears many challenges both for the teachers and the students. These challenges may be related to the different aspects of the sphere, from teaching the educational material to the students to hiring and managing teaching personnel and other staff. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped the education area. It also caused significant changes in the interaction between teachers and students and in human resources management in the sphere (Kelly & Columbus, 2020). Hence, the pandemic caused new challenges for HR managers to face. When analyzing the issues related to HR management, specifically in the education sphere, it is necessary to point out that human resources are the most significant part of it. Teaching personnel is the main instrument for educating students and, thus, achieving the main goals of the area and developing the country (Omebe, 2019). That is why it is necessary to be aware of the challenges the system currently faces and prevent them from making the education process more effective.

Education is divided into several stages, and all of them have common challenges and specific challenges typical of a particular stage. First, it seems necessary to pay attention to the everyday challenges that teachers may face in every education stage. They concern with poor funding, lack of teaching personnel, and working conditions that prevent teachers from performing their work according to the established standards (Omebe, 2019). Since education is a highly flexible and fast-changing area, problems and challenges concerning human resources are inevitable in this sphere. Not all institutions can cope with them or minimize the probability of their emergence.

When addressing the challenges that occur specifically in the higher education sphere, it is necessary to mention that the role and image of education have changed for today’s society. Nowadays, the sphere is regarded as a business but not a service as it was previously (Chaudhari, 2019). Though the perception of education has significantly changed, the teachers still remain its driving force. Hence, it is important for the human resources managers of all educational institutions to pay attention to the teaching personnel’s education and personal development. If these aspects are ignored by the HRs during the hiring process, unskilled teachers or teachers with a lack of knowledge in the field may be hired, which will poorly affect the institution’s prestige. Hence, in order to avoid challenges connected with the competence of the working staff, it is necessary for HR managers to pay attention to their professional skills and knowledge (Nestorowicz & Park, n.d.). In addition, since education involves not only students’ but teachers’ development as well, HRs should ensure they keep up with the times and are able to adapt to the new teaching methods.

Apart from the staff-related challenges that involve the competence and teaching skills of the working personnel, there exist challenges that are not explicitly related to the teaching-learning process. They concern about the system that makes teachers perform the same actions and repeatedly explain the same materials throughout the whole course of their work (Chaudhari, 2019). At the same time, the work of a teacher or other staff that is involved in the education process. The first challenge higher education meets today is the problem of staff recruitment. Education has become more business-like, so in many institutions exist patronage and bribing, especially when it comes to leading positions. Hence, people are often hired or promoted to leading positions, not because of the knowledge, academic experience, and achievements they possess but due to the amount of money they or their relatives have. Such actions create an imbalance in the sphere and may lead to decreasing popularity and falling authority of the institution that is improperly managed.

Other challenges that concern human resources in higher education are related to the flexibility and constant development of the sphere. Hence, the implementation of ICT technologies enables teachers who are not used to it to use electronic staff during the teaching-learning process adequately. However, it is impossible to exclude ICT technologies from the education sphere, especially today. Since the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic, online meetings are a good way to minimize the probability of getting infected. In addition, the implementation of ICT technologies into education serves to facilitate the education process because it helps quickly distribute information and knowledge and helps in staff and student administration and other faculty activities (Chaudhari, 2019). The last challenge that concerns higher education is the expansion of private colleges and institutions, where higher salaries and other benefits and tools that facilitate the teachers’ work are implemented. Their appearance causes the lack of human resources in state schools where the work conditions are less appealing to the teachers.

To fight these challenges and prevent new ones, it is necessary to make education a matter of government concern. Though some of them may be defeated for a particular institution, the whole system needs changes. In addition, it is necessary to stress that the recommendations for meeting these challenges are common for the entire education system, not only for higher education. Since human resources are the driving force of the area, they should be adequately managed. Hence, it is possible to single out several measures for their prevention. First, the prestige of teachers’ work should be increased through fair salaries, standardized in all higher education institutions, and an encouraging environment. It will help reduce staff turnover in the area (Chaudhari, 2019). It is also necessary to update knowledge facilities and implement technologies into education more effectively with the simultaneous education of the teachers on ICT. Apart from that, HT departments should efficiently operate at a high level and pay attention to the skills and knowledge of the teaching personnel.

There is one more recommendation on the point, which is connected with the retirement process since many teachers are forced to leave their jobs due to their old age. It may lead to the loss of intellectual capital and result in the impoverishment of the education system. Hence, it is essential to properly train and educate young professionals that will replace retired teachers (Omebe, 2019). Teachers’ constant skills improvement and development will enable them to make the education process more beneficial for the students and prevent the possible challenges related to staff incompetence.

To conclude, it is necessary to state that though the education system faces many challenges related to both the teaching process and human resources management, it is possible to meet or prevent the challenges. In order to do that, a number of steps should be taken. First, education should become a matter of government concern that will raise teachers’ salaries and provide benefits for them that will increase the prestige of the job. It is also important to constantly educate teaching personnel as the sphere is flexible and fast-changing, so the teachers’ skills should meet its requirements.


Chaudhari, A. P. (2019). Challenges of human resource management in HEIs. Materials of the NCRTMCSA 2019 Conference. 

Kelly, A. P. & Columbus, R. (2020). College in the time of coronavirus CHALLENGES FACING AMERICAN HIGHER EDUCATION. American Enterprise Institute. 

Nestorowicz, N. & Park, J. H. (n.d.). Human resource development in higher education. 

Omebe, C. A. (2019). Human resource management in education: Issues and challenges. European-American Journal, 26-31.

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