Written by Student Rights on 25 May 2010 at 11am

What are your Vice-Chancellors worth?

In this age of cuts, we would do well to accept that there are indeed areas where universities should be able to make savings and yet keep delivering and improving upon the standards of education. It can happen, but it requires a firm hand. Where I'd like to start is by asking you, do your Vice Chancellors earn an appropriate amount of money?

Recently, Douglas Murray from the Centre for Social Cohesion outlined in an article for the Telegraph how much University College London Provost Malcolm Grant earns. Between 2008 and 2009, it appears that Malcolm Grant earned a whopping £376,190. So much for the old adage, "Those who can't... teach." Furthermore, it would appear as outlined by The Times Online, that 'bidding wars' have emerged at universities for the 'best' lecturers and managers - a private sector, market-based practice which should effectively have no sway in the public sector - which universities very much still are. About £200m has just yesterday been cut from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills budget for universities.

An analysis of university accounts has shown that in 2008-9 the number of employees on six-figure pay increased by 17% and the pay of vice-chancellors went up nearly 11% to an average of £219,000. The highest paid included Malcolm Grant, provost of University College London, who received £376,190.

While Bristol University serves as an example by tightening their belts and freezing the pay of lecturers and Vice Chancellors, other universities blame 2006 agreements for the pay rises. So we ask you, are your lecturers, middle-managers and Vice Chancellors really worth six-figure salaries. Even if you agree, at a cost to the taxpayer and the fee-paying student - where on Earth does it stop?