Liam Burns, president of the NUS, said that vice-chancellors should donate the money they are likely to save with the scrapping of the 50p tax rate, announced in last month’s budget by the chancellor, George Osborne.
His comments came at the opening of the union's annual national conference, which is being held over the next three days in Sheffield.
Mr Burns, who is seeking a second term as NUS president, added that he would also be lobbying big businesses to donate to the scheme, which is aimed at supporting fair access to higher education. He estimated that if businesses matched vice-chancellors¹ donations, the money raised would be close to £1 million a year.
“The government has increased fees and cut taxes, so that from next April, the average undergraduate will face thousands more every year in fees, while the average vice chancellor will be paying £3,000 less every year in tax,” Mr Burns said in his opening speech.
“Nobody can argue that we are all in it together, not when those are the rules of the game.”
The scrapping of the 50p tax rate will benefit those earning above £150,000 a year - a group that includes all university vice-chancellors, barring a few heads at small specialist colleges.