High-earning college vice chancellors attend meetings which decide their salaries 2 min read

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Anger after it emerges 80 per cent of high-earning college vice chancellors can attend meetings which decide their salaries

  • Four out of five vice chancellors can to attend meetings deciding their salaries
  • Critics say this can compromise the independence of the decision  
  • The average pay for vice chancellors rose by 3.5 per cent this year to £253,000
  • UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell called the findings ‘shocking’ 

Four out of five vice chancellors are allowed to attend the meetings which decide their salaries despite an outcry over bloated pay.

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Figures obtained by the University and College Union show 81 per cent can sit in on the discussions. 

Critics say this can compromise the independence of the decision. 

Average pay for vice chancellors – not including benefits – rose by 3.5 per cent this year, from £245,000 to £253,000.

Figures obtained by the University and College Union show 81 per cent of vice chancellors in university and colleges in the UK can sit in on the discussions. Critics say this can compromise the independence of the decision (Stock image)

Figures obtained by the University and College Union show 81 per cent of vice chancellors in university and colleges in the UK can sit in on the discussions. Critics say this can compromise the independence of the decision (Stock image)

Earlier this year, Britain’s best-paid vice chancellor, Dame Glynis Breakwell, left her £471,000-a-year position at Bath University following an outcry.

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The UCU obtained the new data from 135 of the country’s 158 universities.

The vice chancellor was allowed to attend meetings at 109 and was a committee member at nine, including Coventry, Aberdeen, Liverpool Hope and Portsmouth. 

UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell called the findings ‘shocking’.

He said: ‘It is shocking that at the height of the senior pay scandals, a vast majority of our universities thought it was fine for the vice-chancellor to still attend the meeting where their pay was set.

‘The recent pay and perks scandals at our universities have been incredibly damaging, yet these figures suggest that the higher education sector still refuses to act.

‘If the OfS (Office for Students) won’t deal with the issue then the Government needs to enforce stronger governance at the top tables of our universities.’

Watchdog for the Office for Students said vice chancellors ‘should not attend discussions about their own pay’. 

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