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University staff earning six-figure salaries tops 6,000

University staff earning six-figure salaries tops 6,000.
New records show that the number of university staff earning more than £100,000 has topped 6,000 for the first time.

The Office for Students (OfS) revealed that the number of staff on six-figure salaries has risen by more than 600 for the year 2019-20. The chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said that university leaders, “must do more” to improve value for money for their students.

Across all institutions in the study, the proportion of staff paid a basic salary of £100,000 or more was up slightly to 1.8 per cent compared with 1.7 percent in 2018-19. Despite the increase, 48 percent (almost half of all the universities in the study) saw a decrease or no change in the number of staff earning £100,000.

The analysis only accounts for the start of the pandemic, as it looked at the pay of vice-chancellors and other senior staff at 166 providers over 2019-20. The watchdog acknowledges that some university leaders may have chosen to waive part of their remuneration over the past 18 months.

According to the data, there is currently 334,589 full-time university staff meaning, in 2019-20, that 6,038 earned more than £100,000. Overall the average “mean” basic salary for the heads of all providers was £219,000 for 2019-20, and the average total remuneration was £269,000.

Seemingly, the University of Exeter was at the top of the list for remuneration in 2019-20, with the head receiving a pay and benefits package of £584,000. Imperial College London came second with a total remuneration of £527,000, and the third spot was taken by the head of the London School of Economics with a package of £507,000. The report shows that total remuneration paid to vice-chancellors and other heads of higher education providers rose in 93 providers (56 percent), fell in 60 providers (36 percent), and remained the same in 12 providers (7 percent).

Chief executive at the OfS, Nicola Dandridge, said, “These figures demonstrate that – across the sector as a whole – pay increases for vice-chancellors were lower than the increases recommended for all university staff. But that should not disguise the fact that some of these salaries, and the differences in pay between vice-chancellors and academic staff, will appear very high.”

Separately, the Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, John O’Connell, said the generous pay was at odds with the disruption experienced by students during the pandemic.

in News