Birmingham sends Eastwood off with £190K bonus as v-c pay rises

Average leader’s remuneration stood at £308,000 last year, according to analysis of 118 university accounts

一月 16, 2023
Source: iStock

The earnings gap between UK vice-chancellors and their employees is growing, according to data on more than 100 institutions that reveal a bumper pay-off for former University of Birmingham vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood.

A Times Higher Education analysis of the financial statements of 118 higher education providers published to date puts the median vice-chancellor’s pay package at £308,000 in 2021-22 – a 2 per cent increase from £301,000 the year before.

This included a median base salary – used to stop figures being skewed by particularly small or large wages – of £257,500, which typically comes alongside other benefits such as housing and pensions.

The average pay package for vice-chancellors was seven and half times larger than the median pay for all other employees, up from 7.2 the year before and as high as 15 at Imperial College London.

Alice Gast, who stepped down as Imperial’s president in July, topped the table for both total remuneration and pay rise, with her £714,000 package up 28 per cent on 2020-21. Much of the increase reflected a change in the tax treatment of Professor Gast’s on-campus accommodation at Imperial.

Birmingham, meanwhile, spent £601,000 on former vice-chancellor Sir David (£372,000) and current leader Adam Tickell (£229,000) in 2021-22.

The bumper payout includes £120,000 for Sir David as part of a long-term incentive plan and a further £70,000 performance-related award.

Birmingham said that Sir David had a “long-term incentive plan”, with rewards “contingent on the vice-chancellor meeting specific objectives in each of the years of the term and still being in post at the end of the term”. “No long-term incentive plan is in place for the current vice-chancellor,” it added.

Other top-earning vice-chancellors included Dame Louise Richardson, in her final year at the University of Oxford (£542,000, up 18 per cent), and Baroness Shafik at the London School of Economics (£539,000, up 11 per cent).

RankAll institutionsTotal remuneration, 2021-22 (£)Basic salary, 2021-22 (£)

Of the 21 Russell Group universities to have published their accounts so far, the median package rose from £375,000 to £382,000 in 2021-22.

Vice-chancellors outside the mission group averaged £303,000, up from £286,000 year-on-year.

High earners included Bob Cryan at the University of Huddersfield (£408,000) and Peter John at the University of West London (£407,000).

RankNon-Russell Group institutionsTotal remuneration, 2021-22 (£)Basic salary, 2021-22 (£)

Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union, said there was “no justification whatsoever for a vice-chancellor to earn almost eight times more than the staff who teach, research and support students”.

“This widening gulf is yet further proof that those who lead the sector have their priorities wrong,” she said.



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Reader's comments (3)

And they wonder why staff are on strike year after year.
Golden goodbye, or a golden f'off to get rid before he did any more damage? My University did that to get rid of one VC.
You mention analysis of 118 university accounts but we can only see top 10s. Where can the whole dataset be seen?