The Independent Review Committee to decide pay and conditions in higher education met for the first time this week. Its staff could have a few worries about pay and conditions themselves. By this month's deadline, only half of higher education institutions had paid their subscriptions. Payments range from about Pounds 850 to Pounds 3,000 and are based on an initial budget of about Pounds 250,000. Some smaller institutions say they are withholding payments because they are merging with others.