Joseph Timan reports on some of the motions to be voted on at the NUS Conference, four of which have been submitted by the Guild of StudentsWritten by Joseph Timan on 25th April 2017
Birmingham Vice Chancellor’s pay rises by 11 per cent
Figures announced by the Daily Telegraph reveal that more than 950 university staff across the country, including Vice Chancellors, are paid more than the Prime Minister
Figures announced by the Daily Telegraph reveal that more than 950 university staff across the country, including Vice Chancellors, are paid more than the Prime Minister.
Out of the total 87 universities who recently published figures, eleven Vice Chancellors had a pay increase of ten per cent or more during the year to August 2010.
The average salary of Vice Chancellors now stands at £254,000. This is opposed to the average academic salary of £47,000.
Other university staff were revealed to earn more than the Prime Minister, including one senior administrator at Oxford with a salary of over £600,000.
David Eastwood, the University of Birmingham's Vice-Chancellor, took an 11 per cent rise, making his job now worth £392,000 including pension contributions.
Eastwood's salary was larger than any other Vice Chancellor listed in the compilation of figures.
A University spokesperson said: 'We do not comment as a matter of course on the details of any member of staff's salary or pension.
However, it is worth noting that Professor David Eastwood is the highly experienced head of a complex and successful organisation with a global reach. The university has around 28,000 students, 6,000 staff and a turnover equivalent to a large business contributing over £780million to the region.
'His remuneration needs to match his challenging and wide-ranging responsibilities and the social and economic contribution that the University makes locally, nationally and internationally, which includes the high quality experience we offer our students.
'It is also worth noting that Professor Eastwood is a generous donor to the University.'
The news of Eastwood's pay rise is likely to add more anger to the students who last term protested on campus calling for Professor Eastwood to resign, especially as funding to the university will be cut by 49 per cent. Students occupying the balcony and attempting to break in to the Great Hall made the national media.
Birmingham's Vice Chancellor is not alone in having a pay rise this year. Oxford's Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton is now paid £382,000 salary, a 17 per cent increase on his predecessor.
Oxford also employs the country's highest paid university administrator in the form of its endowment manager, Sandra Robertson, who was paid £580,000 last year.
In contrast, Vice Chancellor of UCL Malcolm Grant took a 10 per cent cut, equating to £30,000. Other senior staff at the University are also said to be taking wage reductions.
The universities defended the rises, saying large pay packets were necessary to allow them to attract the best talent and compete with leading overseas institutions.
However, the President of the National Union of Students Aaron Porter disagrees, saying: 'It is disgusting that at a time when Vice Chancellors have been pushing to take more money from students, they are rewarding themselves with even more inflated salaries.'
This view has been emphasised by Vince Cable, Business Secretary, by telling the Daily Telegraph university leaders need to show 'realism and sacrifice' and that their pay 'bore no relation to the underlying economics of the country.'
The Guild officer team has 'reacted angrily' to reports of an eleven per cent pay increase for the Vice Chancellor.
They said: 'In light of efficiency savings being pushed through at the University and the recent tripling of student debt, in which he played a central role, such an increase is highly insensitive and inappropriate.'
Written by Freddie Herzog