University of East Anglia high earners doubles in five years

The UEA. Photo: Bill Smith

The UEA. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

The University of East Anglia has defended figures which show it has doubled the number of six-figure earners on its books in just five years.

UEA vice chancellor Professor Edward Acton looks forward to the university's 50th birthday. Photo: B

UEA vice chancellor Professor Edward Acton looks forward to the university's 50th birthday. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Our analysis shows that in 2009/10 the UEA employed 19 people on over £100,000; however by 2014/15 the figure had risen to 38, even though there was only a small rise in overall staff numbers to 3,876.

Former vice-chancellor Edward Acton saw his basic salary rise from £209,000 in 2012 to £238,000 in 2014. He received a £21,000 pension contribution in 2012 and none two years later.

According to the latest accounts, his replacement David Richardson recouped £203,000 for 11 months work, but also a £31,000 pension contribution.

A UEA spokesman said: 'The university operates in a global market, recruiting staff of international standing to maintain UEA's position in the UK top 20 and top one per cent of universities worldwide. Without paying competitive salaries we would not be able to attract leading academics who draw in millions in research funding, enabling the university to help tackle some of the major challenges facing society.'

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They said the rise was partly due to an increase in its medical school, with professors being paid rates set by the NHS.

UK universities are independent institutions but receive public grants. In 2014 ministers raised concerns about the 'substantial upward drift' of salaries. University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt, said earlier this year: 'The time has come for a frank and open discussion about pay and transparency in higher education.'

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Norwich City College has seen a reduction in high-earning staff, while the basic salary of its principal has also fallen in recent years.

Annual accounts show that in 2010 then principal Dick Palmer received a basic salary of £163,000.

However, when he gave up the role to head a new education body called Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN Group), the salary dropped to £132,000 in 2014 and rose to £137,000 a year later. Eight members of staff recouped £60,000 or more in 2013, compared to four by 2015.

During this time many colleges in the UK have seen their government funding cut and the figures show staffing numbers at City College fell from 821 in 2010 to 553 four years later.

At nearby Easton and Otley College the basic salary of the principal was listed as £103,000 in 2012 and £130,000 by 2015, when principal David Lawrence retired. This period saw the two colleges merge.

At the College of West Anglia the principal salary rose from £130,000 in 2012 to £140,000 in 2015, while the Paston College principal salary was £86,000 in 2013 and £88,000 two years later. Great Yarmouth College paid its principal £99,000 in 2010 and £105,000 in 2015.

At the Norwich University of the Arts the vice chancellor's salary has risen from £130,000 in 2011/12, to £167,000 in 2014/15, however during that period the facility officially became a university.


Both Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils record separately the number of high earners employed within our schools.

And while figures comparing 2010/11 with 2014/15 show a drop in staff on £80,000-plus, changes within the structure of schools mean that is unlikely to be a true representation of the landscape.

In Norfolk in 2010/11, 20 members of staff in schools earned £80,000 or more, two of which were on £100-129,000. Those figures were 13 and two respectively in 2014/15. In Suffolk, 17 earned £80,000 and above (two on more than £100,000) falling to eight (two on more than £100,000) in 2014/15. These figures do not, however, include the increasing number of academies that are opening in both counties, which release their accounts separately to local authorities. A full analysis of these, highlighting some of the pay rises bosses have received, will run later in the year.

However, accounts show that Toby Salt, the chief executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, whose 37 schools include 10 in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, was paid £150,000-160,000 in 2013/14, whch rose to £180-185,000 in 2014/15.

Of the local academy trusts, Dame Rachel de Souza, chief executive of the Inspiration Trust, which has 10 schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, was paid £140,000-150,000 in 2013/14, which rose to £155-160,000 a year later.

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