Student loan debt ballooned to £140 billion at the end of March 2020. The government forecasts that this will reach £560 billion by the middle of this century. Combined with the fact that the government also predicts that only 25 per cent of current full-time undergraduate students who take out loans are expected to repay them is full, higher education is fast becoming a major financial issue. This means that taxpayers are ultimately funding a substantial portion of higher education revenue in the UK. A reduction in the tuition fee cap - as proposed by the Augar review - would further exacerbate this subsidy.
At the same time, the coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on student life. Some universities have moved to online courses, with the face-to-face contact hours and social life usually associated with university life reduced. Many students feel that they are getting less value for money as a result.
Despite all this, university bosses are taking home substantial sums. This research presents total remuneration data for 2019-20 to highlight the spiralling increases in senior staff pay.
These findings are important, both to the students who attend these institutions and the taxpayers who are asked to subsidise them.
- In 2019-20, there were at least 4,112 university staff with total remuneration of more than £100,000. Within this group, there were 860 on more than £150,000.
- This compares to 3,615 and 762 respectively in 2018-19. This represents an increase of 14 per cent for those on more than £100,000 and 13 per cent for those on more than £150,000 in total remuneration
- The university with the greatest number of employees whose remuneration was in excess of £100,000 was the London School of Economics, with 306. This was also the university which had the highest number of employees receiving over £150,000 at 109.
- The average number of employees who received over £100,000 in total remuneration per university is 44. The average number receiving over £150,000 is 9 employees per university.
- The Open University made loss of office payments totalling £347,696, the highest single pay out being £128,575.
You can use our tool below to search for a specific university and see the average number of staff who were remunerated over £100,000 across a in 2019-20: