Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s pay highest in the UK

The package, reported in the Times Higher Education Supplement, was decided by the ‘Committee to Review the Salaries of Senior University Officers’. Members include a Non-Executive Director of GlaxoSmithKline PLC, Sir Crispin Davis. 

A university spokesperson said, “Oxford is one of the great universities of the world and makes a major contribution to the economic prosperity of the UK and the UK’s position in the world.” 

“It must remain globally competitive and its Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration needs to reflect that.”

They pointed out that that the package is the same as last year, meaning it is a slight reduction in real terms. Whilst Hamilton’s package has remained the same as last year, on average there was a rise of 2.7% across the country. In his previous role as Provost of Yale, Hamilton earned $442,560. 

Nicola Dandridge, Executive of Universities UK, said, “The salaries Chief University leaders in the UK receive are in line with those in competitor countries and comparable to similarly-sized public and private organizations”.                                                                                                                          

However, some say Vice-Chancellors’ pay is too high, especially when staff have had to face considerable real-term pay cuts.

The Cambridge University Branch of the Unite union sent Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University with a salary of £271,000, a letter opining that “it is time that you were made aware of the injustice and inequality of the currently single spine wage structure used by the University”. 

Sally Hunt, Universities and College Union General Secretary, stated, “The lack of self-awareness from university leaders when it comes to their own rewards continues to be an embarrassment for the sector, especially when we consider the recent promises that their pay and perks would be reined in”. 

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Some Oxford students have voiced concerns with the sum received by Hamilton. One student said, “Semi-autonomous colleges minimise the role of the Vice-Chancellor in contrast to other Universities so I don’t see how this salary is justified.” 

Oliver Troen, a first year Geographer at St Catz, said “it’s outrageous that they can triple our tuition fees and raise management salaries. There has to be give and take from both sides.” 

“The Vice-Chancellor is paid almost 3 times more than the Prime Minister.  Something’s gone wrong there, surely?” 

Yet a first year Economics and Management student said, ‘If you’ve got a top job, and want a top person, you need to pay a top salary. Simple.’