Average pay packet for UK university vice-chancellors more than £277,000, union says

The Ziggurat buildings at the UEA. University of East Anglia. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

The Ziggurat buildings at the UEA. University of East Anglia. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

University chiefs took home salary packages worth more than a quarter of a million pounds on average last year, a report has suggested.

Thousands of pounds more was spent by institutions on flights, often first or business class, and hotels for vice-chancellors, according to the University and College Union (UCU).

It claimed that in general, bosses enjoyed salaries and benefits worth around 6.5 times more than the average wages of staff.

The union's analysis of its data, collected through Freedom of Information Requests, revealed that the average pay packet, including benefits, pension and bonuses, for a university chief, based on data from 151 institutions, was £277,834, up 2pc on the previous year.

A number of universities changed their head of institution during the course of the year, which could affect the figures.


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The University of East Anglia's (UEA) vice-chancellor David Richardson was paid £271,000 in 2015/16.

His predecessor Edward Acton saw his basic salary rise from £209,000 in 2012 to £238,000 in 2014, with a pension contribution of £21,000.

A spokesperson for the university said: 'The university operates in a global market and the make-up of the vice chancellor's remuneration reflects the size and international standing of the University of East Anglia.

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'It is determined by a Remuneration Committee comprising independent members of the University's Council, and it remains at the lower end of vice-chancellor salaries across all UK universities.'

The UCU's analysis also revealed that the average spend on air fares for vice-chancellors, based on information from 137 universities, was £7,762. Around two-thirds (65pc) of flight spending was on business and first class airfares.

• Do you have an education story for us? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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