Far East academics top of the pay scales

June 27, 1997

ACADEMIC pay in Hong Kong and Singapore far outstrips earnings at universities in other leading Commonwealth countries, according to a new study.

Professors in Hong Kong earn at least twice as much as their counterparts in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, the survey of pay scales in seven Commonwealth countries finds.

Non-pay benefits are also good in Hong Kong, with a non-contributory health care scheme, the largest amount of leave (42-46 days a year), ten weeks' paid maternity leave, university housing for senior staff and a cash allowance for junior academics. Pensions schemes are comparable to the UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

The survey, conducted earlier this year, is based on information from 31 universities. US dollars were used for the comparison, but the findings have not been adjusted for cost of living or purchasing parity.

When the differing systems are equalised, Hong Kong and Singapore lead the pay stakes across all grades. The lowest paid Hong Kong academic earns $46,000 compared with $25,110 in the UK, $24,000 in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, and $9,161 in South Africa. Compared with the $46,000 earned by a senior lecturer at the bottom of the scale in the UK, the equivalent in Hong Kong earns $102,345 and $85,380 in Singapore, followed by Australia ($50,861), New Zealand ($50,640), Canada ($43,252), and South Africa ($21,600). South Africa has the lowest salary levels.

Survey of Academic Staff Salaries, 1996/97. Commonwealth Higher Education Management Services, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PF. http://www.acu.ac.uk/chems/chems.html.

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