Vice-Chancellor remunerations

02 January 2014

Commenting on reports about university leaders’ pay, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“The salaries of Vice-Chancellors and other senior staff at our universities reflect their roles leading extremely complex, international organisations with annual turnovers of more than half a billion pounds on average. The success of our universities benefits Britain and is vital for growth; collectively they contribute more than £30 billion to the economy every year. The independent remuneration committees which decide these salaries are acutely aware that the continued global success of these institutions requires world-class leadership and academic talent, particularly through tough economic times.

“Our Vice-Chancellors still earn significantly less than their counterparts in the United States or Australia, despite running equally or, in many cases, more successful universities. For example, 46 colleges in the US paid their Vice-Chancellors over $1,000,000 (£640,000) in 2011, and the average salary amongst the 8 research-intensive universities of Australia was more than A$900,000 (£613,000) in 2012.

“Increased income from fees in England has largely offset significant government cuts to public teaching grants and therefore it is very misleading to connect changes to undergraduate teaching funding to staff pay in universities.

“We will continue to work closely with staff and unions to ensure that we provide competitive but sustainable pay and conditions for our highly-valued staff.”

Note to Editors

  1. Exchange rates are calculated at the beginning of the relevant financial year. For the United States this is 1st October 2011 and for Australia is 1st January 2012.