Lorna Miri reports on the latest revelations from the Public Sector Rich List
The Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) recently released records of state education sector employees who earned an excess of £100,000 in 2013-2015.
As part of ‘The Public Sector Rich List’, the TPA sent Freedom of Information requests to schools and universities, including UCL. The findings revealed that UCL had 500 members of staff who received over £100,000. The highest figure of pay at UCL was £398,671, excluding expenses or bonuses.
Craig Calhoun, the Vice Chancellor of LSE, was paid £394,000 last year. Additionally, the university covered his phone costs, private medical insurance and flights. In light of recent events, students have called for more high-earning administrators to be named and identified. However, the government instead plans to exempt universities from Freedom of Information requests. The Labour Party has raised concerns that the public will be unable to monitor how public money has been spent.
Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the University and College Union said that earnings of university staff are “out of control”.
Jonathon Isaby, Chief Executive of the TPA, has said that he believes taxpayers would not begrudge a substantial salary for a world-class academic who produced great results, however, he did also acknowledge that this is often not the case: “Where institutions fail – but financial rewards continue to flow to those at the top regardless – there is clearly a serious problem and taxpayers have every right to be concerned”.
Despite government funding decreasing, it is difficult to understand why the salaries of top academics remain so substantial. The National Union of Students has questioned the fairness of the situation; whilst students are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the costs of university, their educators are receiving bonuses up to £250,000.
It remains to be seen whether these salaries will be further inflated by governmental plans to increase further education fees.
Featured image credit: Sam Fearnley