Leader: Rewards for the few, but little for the many

September 27, 2002

The THES 's finding that British universities contain thousands of well-paid people is welcome. But the wide disparities that our table reveals are less acceptable. Some 1960s universities with world aspirations have barely any staff paid above £60,000 - in institutions whose vice-chancellor may be on twice as much.

Business and medical schools are the home of most highly paid academics. In some, such as the table-topping London Business School, they are paid well to forgo lucrative consultancy work. Top medical staff are rewarded for a similar sacrifice when they spend time in the lecture theatre rather than in the clinic. The lesson is that the only well-paid academics are those with other options for bringing in big money. For most, incomes normal in professions such as the law or accountancy have become unimaginable.

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