Fancy earning £332,000 a year? Try being a top university vice-chancellor

Jan 15, 2018 by

Image result for suitcase full of pound notes photos

The average salary for bosses at the 24 Russell Group universities has been revealed – but not everyone thinks they’re worth the cash

Name: £332,000

Also known as: A Sue Barker, an Eddie Mair or a Lauren Laverne.

Appearance: About three briefcases packed full of £20 notes, plus a few fat wads stuffed in your pockets.

Mmm … I’m just taking a moment to imagine that. Now imagine someone giving it to you every year.

Lovely! Yes, please. Now imagine HMRC taking one and a half briefcases away in tax.

Hey! And that’s what it’s like to be vice-chancellor at one of the UK’s top universities.

Really? Don’t I get a funny costume too? All right, yes. But you’ll also have to do some work.

Boo! Come on, £332,000 in pay and benefits isn’t bad, is it? That’s the average for the vice-chancellors at the 24 Russell Group universities in 2016-17, according to the latest figures.

I guess so. And just think what I’d earn if I made it to chancellor! I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. Chancellors are purely ceremonial leaders without any real power, such as the Queen or Theresa May.

I see. It’s vice-chancellors who actually do the work of running a university, both as a seat of learning and as a business. The Russell Group claim to add £86bn to the UK economy each year. About £122bn is spent on NHS England, for comparison.

Hmm. That’s worth a few £332,000s, I suppose. And some vice-chancellors do even better. Sir David Eastwood of the University of Birmingham got £439,000.

That’s four and a half briefcases! Crikey, the drinks are on Sir David! They are indeed.

And I suppose everybody’s relaxed about these brilliant people being well rewarded for the wealth they help to create? Not everybody, no. Lord Adonis, the Labour peer, calls their pay “far too high”. He thinks it should be no more than two briefcases each.

Spoilsport. Not all students are keen either. The University of Bath isn’t even in the Russell Group, but its vice-chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell is paid £468,000 a year. Last month, students pelted her office with biscuits.

Why? Because her expenses included a £2 claim for biscuits.

And because biscuits are cheap and easy to throw? That too.

Do say: “You’d only get half of John Humphrys for £332,000.”

Don’t say: “Actually, I’d pay extra for that.”

Source: Fancy earning £332,000 a year? Try being a top university vice-chancellor | Education | The Guardian

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