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University of Birmingham Defends Vice-Chancellor's Salary

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The University of Birmingham has defended vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood's £439,000 a year salary suggesting the university's performance had materially improved with students having high levels of satisfaction.

The salaries of university vice-chancellors have come under scrutiny and recently resulted in Bath's Prof Glynis Breakwell stepping down after it was revealed she was the highest paid vice-chancellor in the country.

The salaries of vice-chancellors have been reported by Times Higher Education magazine, with the average university boss earning £355,670 a year once employer pension contributions are added.

The University of Birmingham defended Mr Eastwood's salary saying: "Professor Sir David Eastwood is recognised within the higher education sector as a highly successful and experienced leader of a large, complex organisation with global reach.

"There is a global market for talented University leaders, with many Australian and North American universities paying significantly more than leading UK institutions: a reality which needs acknowledging if the UK wishes to retain its position as being second only to the US for its HE system.

"Under Sir David's leadership, it is widely recognised that the University's performance has improved markedly. Aspects of this rise include high levels of student satisfaction, Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, huge demand from applicants for our courses, the best QAA report in the sector, amongst the highest levels of graduate employment in the sector, growth in the value of research grants and quality of research and improved positions in the domestic league tables."

In wake of claims of excessive pay, the Committee of University Chairs has put together a voluntary code, promising to bring more transparency to the remuneration process.