Income for higher education institutions has risen more than 20 times the real-terms increase in staff salaries, the AUT claims.
An AUT analysis of data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows that while central government funding, delivered through the funding councils, fell, other university income increased rapidly between 1994 and 1998.
Overall university income rose by 6.8 per cent, compared with real-terms pay increases for staff of 0.3 per cent. Total spending on academic staff costs fell by 2.3 per cent.
The biggest rise in university income came from endowment income and interest receivable, which was up by 11 per cent to Pounds 298 million, and research grants and contracts, up by 6 per cent to Pounds 1.7 billion.