You state: "Some new universities such as Gloucestershire, which was awarded university status only last year, have a greater proportion of staff who hold chairs than Oxford or Cambridge universities."
Gloucestershire was in fact awarded its university title in 2001. And, having recently gone through the process for the award of professorial title at Gloucestershire myself, I can confirm that it is rigorous and demanding - the university does not give away professorships with the cornflakes. But then, I hear you say, she would say that, wouldn't she?
Professor, Gloucestershire University