Did You Know: University Vice-Chancellor in UK Earns £800k a Year?

3 years ago



In the light of February strikes over pension disputes organized by university lecturers, the news of a salary rise for vice-chancellors broke. The Tab has revealed shocking figures showing that in the 2016/2017 school year, there was a 3.97% increase in vice-chancellors salary, pensions included. The average salary rate equaled £342,034.

Bath Spa left other universities far behind with a vice-chancellor’s salary rate of £808,000, pensions included. Up next comes the Sussex vice chancellor with a salary of £545,000 exceeding half a million British pounds! Moreover, many university vice-chancellors got a bonus in addition to their basic salary, as Exeter's Vice-Chancellor pocketed an extra £47,000 in bonuses.

How Much Is University Staff Paid?

It’s crystal clear that in contrast to the vice-chancellors pay rises, other university staff earns significantly less. In 2017, the UCEA offered university staff only 1% pay rise. As for the public sector, the pay cap stays the same. Still, the UCEA claims the planned average pay rise will equal 2.6%. Turns out, being a university vice-chancellor is more profitable compared to being a country leader. The UK Prime Minister is paid an average salary of £150,402 a year, whilst the US Presidential salary is the equivalent of just over £320,000. The situation is getting out of hand as something potentially undermining the value of universities in the UK. 

Don't Lose Your Faith In Humanity, Not Yet!

Not all university vice-chancellors agree with such state of things. The vice-chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Louise Richardson, rejected the suggestion of basing her pay on performance, after learning this could be linked to Oxford’s admissions of disadvantaged students. Richardson believes getting larger salaries than “the prime minister running the country, while you have students with high debts” is immoral.

And, while the PM’s pay comes from the taxpayers, only insignificant amount of Oxford’s profit is received from the government. Richardson says that only 9% the £2.2bn of Oxford’s annual operating budget derived from the taxpayer contributes is allocated for teaching. Including all the taxpayers’ money, plus the research funding still won’t exceed 20%. The Oxford professor addressed the committee saying “the reduction of the [...] nuanced education we provide to starting salaries, or salaries at any point, is a mistake.”

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