Higher education in England is overseen by one of the highest-earning mandarins in the country, according to new government figures.
The £230,000-£234,999 salary enjoyed in 2009-10 by Sir Alan Langlands, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, puts him joint 12th in a list of the highest earners working in government departments and quangos.
The 332-strong list includes everyone working for a government department or non-departmental public body who earns more than £150,000 a year, which is Prime Minister David Cameron’s annual salary. Its publication this week is an innovation from the coalition government, aimed at increasing transparency.
Sir Alan was joined on the list by the former chief executive of the Student Loans Company, Ralph Seymour-Jackson, who was earning between £165,000 and £169,999 a year before his resignation in May over lengthy delays in the processing of loans.
Also featured on the list are 11 members of staff at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is responsible for higher education.
Among them are Adrian Smith, director-general for science and research (£160,000-£164,999); John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser (£165,000-£169,999); and Simon Fraser, the department’s permanent secretary (£160,000-£164,999).
Times Higher Education had already reported on Sir Alan’s salary, which is published in Hefce’s annual report, but the new figures reveal how his pay package measures up to that of other senior managers. Sir Alan’s salary is relatively close to that of David Nicholson, chief executive of the NHS, who earned between £255,000 and £259,999 in the 2009-10 financial year. Sir Alan is himself a former chief executive of the NHS.
But the salary on offer at Hefce is well below that of the highest earner on the list. David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority, earns £390,000-£394,999 a year.
Francis Maude, minister for the Cabinet Office, which published the figures, said: “I believe this will not only increase accountability, but will also lead to more efficient public-service organisations.”