Goldsmiths allows student on v-c pay committee

A London university has become the first in the UK to allow a student to sit on the panel that decides vice-chancellors’ pay, a union has said.

July 3, 2014

A student will now sit on the Goldsmiths, University of London, remuneration committee that decides the pay level of the warden, currently Patrick Loughrey, and other senior staff.

The salary setting bodies are often criticised as being secretive, with a report by the University and College Union in April saying that only two universities were willing to disclose minutes from the meetings.

The union said Goldsmiths was the first institution to allow a student on to such a committee. The student representative will be a full and voting member of the committee, which also decides management pay increases and severance packages.

Goldsmiths Students’ Union - which has been lobbying the college on the issue for several months - hailed the decision as a “landmark victory for the students’ union movement”.

The GSU president, Howard Littler - whose proposal to have a student on the committee was approved by Goldsmiths’ governing council on June - said: “In the past senior management pay has been viewed as an issue off-limits to student representatives. I’m glad Goldsmiths have accepted this argument as false and I hope other institutions follow.”  

The annual Times Higher Education pay survey in April revealed that between 2011-12 and 2012-13 vice-chancellors’ earnings rose by an average of 5.5 per cent, bringing the average salary, with pension payments, to £254,692.

Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said: “Millions of pounds of public money are spent on vice-chancellors’ salaries, yet their pay rises are decided in clandestine committees that staff and students are barred from attending.

“Goldsmiths should be applauded for its move towards greater transparency. We hope there will also be a staff representative invited to probe the boss’s pay rise and that other universities will follow suit.”

Megan Dunn, vice-president (higher education) of the National Union of Students, welcomed the Goldsmiths move but said more needed to be done.

“There are hundreds of millions of pounds of public money quite rightly going into universities over the next few years, and it’s important that we make sure that this money is used on educational experience and impact, not on increasing already substantial senior salaries,” she said.

“A student perspective should look further than simply scrutinising the pay of senior staff. We must also address the pay ratio between highest and lowest earners as well as greater transparency in the setting and reporting of senior level pay.”

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest