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Meet The New Breed Of Fat Cat: The University Vice-Chancellor

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http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/03/new-breed-fat-cats-university-boss-vice-chancellors

How big was your pay rise last year? Statistics show that most of us scored somewhere between non-existent and paltry. Unless, that is, you were the boss of a British university.

Try these figures out for size:

• Steve West, vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, saw his overall compensation leap by £52,434 to £314,632.

• Malcolm Grant, the outgoing head of University College London, racked up a £41,077 hike in his salary and pensions to £365,432 – for working three days a week.

• Craig Calhoun at the LSE took a total of £466,000. Of that, £88,000 covered his relocation from the US, but that still leaves him on almost £100,000 more than the previous director.

..

At Royal Holloway, where students are petitioning against their principal's pay, Paul Layzell's salary is partly determined by an appraisal of his performance – an appraisal between two people, one of whom is Paul Layzell. When the pay recommendations go before the college council, the student reps have to leave the room. So much for the coalition's bold new era of the student as customer and the customer as king.

For a man who doesn't welcome dissent, try Birmingham's David Eastwood. He's won special powers to remove from committees anyone he doesn't like. And he appears not to like a lot of people: Birmingham academics last year voted to strike against "aggressive" management tactics, while students planning peaceful marches have been sent heavy-handed letters. Not coincidentally,Eastwood is one of the highest paid VCs of the lot, earning almost three times as much as the prime minister.

Nice I'd like to give myself an appraisal.

Although I do like the idea of being able to get rid of anyone I don't like.

It appears that the VC's have all created there own little fiefdoms.

The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.

Galbraith's quote seems rather apt.

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Never mind about him what about the bankers, the bonuses. Why divert attention from the 1.85 billion pound bonus pool by bringing up the pubic sector wage bill that happens to be one hundred times bigger. ;)

This guy knows what he is talking about........

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There was a little demo outside Huddersfield Uni, a few weeks back. Big rises for the Vice Chancellor etc, the surfs were getting a more modest rise of course.

http://www.yorkshire...mbles-1-3031415

York, Leeds and Sheffield universities' vice-chancellors all now earn more than 250,000.

Brian Cantor at the University of York had a salary package increase of 2.8 per cent to 255,450 in 2009-10 and Keith Burnett at Sheffield University had a 2.4 per cent rise to 294,000.

Michael Arthur at the University of Leeds received an unchanged basic salary and benefits in 2009-10, but a 4,000 increase in his employer's pension contribution took his total salary package up 1.3 per cent to 319,000 – the highest pay packet of any vice-chancellor in the region

"This salary reflects the huge responsibility of leading a complex organisation with an international reputation, in a sector where competition and demand is high."

There were also increases in the vice-chancellor's salary packages at Sheffield Hallam and Huddersfield universities.

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This is one of those types of jobs - like council chiefs - where if you halved the pay you'd still mostly have all the same people in post.

In both cases, a national pay scale would make far more sense. And again, you'd get the same people.. but it might deter the chancers a bit.

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Michael Arthur recently left Leeds, it is suspected because of controversy that emerged when it was revealed that he lived in Hampshire and commuted by private plane, and had a luxury flat in Leeds, all on expenses (mortgage on the flat included). The students' union's newspaper discovered that this was in breach of the institution's own rules and regs for admissible expenses, and basically shamed them into revoking the deal. In response the V-C walked, and I believe is now working for some London lobbbying group.

His successor, of course, was hired on a much bigger basic salary.

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Michael Arthur recently left Leeds, it is suspected because of controversy that emerged when it was revealed that he lived in Hampshire and commuted by private plane, and had a luxury flat in Leeds, all on expenses (mortgage on the flat included). The students' union's newspaper discovered that this was in breach of the institution's own rules and regs for admissible expenses, and basically shamed them into revoking the deal. In response the V-C walked, and I believe is now working for some London lobbbying group.

His successor, of course, was hired on a much bigger basic salary.

Now that is genius. I'm totally impressed my his own level of self worth and the fact he thought he'd get away with it.

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Michael Arthur recently left Leeds...

The piss-taking going on in this country now is truly staggering.

I've long been of the opinion that the huge expansion of the university sector benefits those that work in it more than the students.

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The piss-taking going on in this country now is truly staggering.

I've long been of the opinion that the huge expansion of the university sector benefits those that work in it more than the students.

It mainly benefits the unemployment figures - short term

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It mainly benefits the unemployment figures - short term

That too, as has often been mentioned on here.

The highest level of entrants was recorded in 2013 with almost 496,000 students beginning full-time undergraduate courses.

linky

So well over 1m students at University. Do we really need or can we meet the aspirations of those numbers educated to that level? What proportion of those are kept off the unemployment statistics?

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That too, as has often been mentioned on here.

linky

So well over 1m students at University. Do we really need or can we meet the aspirations of those numbers educated to that level? What proportion of those are kept off the unemployment statistics?

Well, each year you need to enroll more than you enrolled three years previously that don't find jobs..

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These toady positions should end! :blink:

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The piss-taking going on in this country now is truly staggering.

I've long been of the opinion that the huge expansion of the university sector benefits those that work in it more than the students.

It's going US-style. Which seems to be the intention.

The problem is that because students are not handing over the fees up-front, market forces don't really apply, or don't apply well. A theoretical loan to be paid back a long time hence (at the age of 18, bring 21 can seem an age away) does not resonate the same as a final demand for £27k landing on the carpet.

Hence, signing the forms for the loans is easy.

There is also no corrective mechanism. It's very hard to say that just because your media studies degree didn't get you a high paying media job that it's the fault of the university. There seems to be no mechanism for refunds or recompense; imagine you could sell brand new cars without a warranty, with payments deferred for a decade and blame for any breakdown put on the driver..

Let's face it, if market forces operated in education then some universities would charge under £9k. End result is that universities have a almost completely guaranteed income stream, a situation perfectly designed for the fat-cat chancer behavior seen here. Funny thing is, when this was funded out of general taxation, the government could complain and demand change because it was big enough to do so.

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It's going US-style. Which seems to be the intention.

...Let's face it, if market forces operated in education then some universities would charge under £9k.

Which is what does happen in the US. You will pay a lot less to attend a community college than UCLA or Harvard, and furthermore, credits earned at one institution can be transferred into another; so much so that many HE institutions in less affluent communities specialize in putting students through the first two or three years at vastly reduced fees, before transferring them into a more prestigious one for the final year (various mechanisms, most of them state-based, synchronise teaching standard and ensure that a credit actually means at least roughly the same level of attainment in the sending and receiving institutions). Although the CATS scheme theoretically allows this to happen in UK higher education as well, in practice transferring between institutions mid-course is virtually impossible, because of the institution-specific prerequisites for level progression that are built into almost all degree programmes. It has to - if I had accepted someone out of year 2 in a bottom end poly straight into the final year of the degree I taught on at Leeds, I'd have been setting them up to fail. And as you point out, virtually all of UK HEIs charge the full £9k, and the few that don't only charge a little bit less.

So British higher education appears to have imported all the drawbacks of US higher education, without any of the checks and balances on them.

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Which is what does happen in the US. You will pay a lot less to attend a community college than UCLA or Harvard, and furthermore, credits earned at one institution can be transferred into another; so much so that many HE institutions in less affluent communities specialize in putting students through the first two or three years at vastly reduced fees, before transferring them into a more prestigious one for the final year (various mechanisms, most of them state-based, synchronise teaching standard and ensure that a credit actually means at least roughly the same level of attainment in the sending and receiving institutions). Although the CATS scheme theoretically allows this to happen in UK higher education as well, in practice transferring between institutions mid-course is virtually impossible, because of the institution-specific prerequisites for level progression that are built into almost all degree programmes. It has to - if I had accepted someone out of year 2 in a bottom end poly straight into the final year of the degree I taught on at Leeds, I'd have been setting them up to fail. And as you point out, virtually all of UK HEIs charge the full £9k, and the few that don't only charge a little bit less.

So British higher education appears to have imported all the drawbacks of US higher education, without any of the checks and balances on them.

I honestly think that when they introduced these fees, they thought that the universities would nicely line up in ranking order with the top uni charging £9k and the bottom £3k pa.

You can almost predict where this is going to go.. there is already agitation to hike / remove the fee cap. We'll probably take the next bad element of the US system where people end up with six figure undischargable debts, probably followed by passport confiscation..

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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/06/london-world-top-city-universities

Overall, 10 British universities came in the top 100, making the UK the second-best represented country, although far behind the perennial powerhouse of the US, boasting 46 institutions.

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of Universities UK, said: "This table, and other rankings, suggest that the UK continues to possess, by some margin, one of the strongest university systems in the world."

But she said that if the UK wanted to maintain its position, it must start matching its competitors' increased investment in higher education.

And increase the VC's salary further as that is where the talent is.

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I honestly think that when they introduced these fees, they thought that the universities would nicely line up in ranking order with the top uni charging £9k and the bottom £3k pa.

You can almost predict where this is going to go.. there is already agitation to hike / remove the fee cap. We'll probably take the next bad element of the US system where people end up with six figure undischargable debts, probably followed by passport confiscation..

You clearly don't understand the British psyche of aspirational snobbery. It's blindingly obvious that hardly anyone would charge significantly less than others since it sends out the signal to all and sundry that they are sub-standard. Nobody would think that they charge less because they have better financial management or are more efficient in various ways eg newer more energy efficient buildings, hiring out their facilities to bring in income, perhaps having a strong R&D arm that has ties with industry, generating a good income stream and so on. Oh no, anyone who charges less must be crap hence they are charging less to try to attract students. Therefore what had happened is all Universities have just raised their fees to the ceiling in concert. Brilliant.

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You clearly don't understand the British psyche of aspirational snobbery. It's blindingly obvious that hardly anyone would charge significantly less than others since it sends out the signal to all and sundry that they are sub-standard. Nobody would think that they charge less because they have better financial management or are more efficient in various ways eg newer more energy efficient buildings, hiring out their facilities to bring in income, perhaps having a strong R&D arm that has ties with industry, generating a good income stream and so on. Oh no, anyone who charges less must be crap hence they are charging less to try to attract students. Therefore what had happened is all Universities have just raised their fees to the ceiling in concert. Brilliant.

You nailed it. Although it's not just snobbery, but fear of looking weak as well - if that's disaggregated from snobbery.

Next stop £25k a year at Oxbridge and a few others.

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You nailed it. Although it's not just snobbery, but fear of looking weak as well - if that's disaggregated from snobbery.

Next stop £25k a year at Oxbridge and a few others.

It really is going to be hideous. As I said above, because these 'loans' are not 'real money' - just 'Sign here and don't worry' - fees can go through the roof. The combination of unregulated fees and easy lending has blown US fees through the roof, obviously some in the UK sector like what they see..

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It really is going to be hideous. As I said above, because these 'loans' are not 'real money' - just 'Sign here and don't worry' - fees can go through the roof. The combination of unregulated fees and easy lending has blown US fees through the roof, obviously some in the UK sector like what they see..

Yes, I have a nephew about to go to Uni this year to study for a degree which will be very unlikely to enhance his earning prospects significantly. His dad doesn't want him to go and instead had lined up an apprenticeship for him at his workplace - water industry - but his son is having none of it. The school careers people have sold him the idea that Uni is the only way to go. I have tried to gently suggest that perhaps another business studies graduate is not what the UK needs right now (or ever) but you just can't tell people can you?

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Yes, I have a nephew about to go to Uni this year to study for a degree which will be very unlikely to enhance his earning prospects significantly. His dad doesn't want him to go and instead had lined up an apprenticeship for him at his workplace - water industry - but his son is having none of it. The school careers people have sold him the idea that Uni is the only way to go. I have tried to gently suggest that perhaps another business studies graduate is not what the UK needs right now (or ever) but you just can't tell people can you?

The problem is that the school people have got a point. If the apprenticeship doesn't work out, he will be pretty much unemployable beyond minimum wage jobs without a degree. Employers have a lot to answer for here: they are demanding degrees for jobs that any competently educated 18 year-old should be able to do. A related problem is that large swathes of the secondary school sector are not educating teenagers competently. In the 15 years I taught in UK HE, I saw a steady decline in what the first years students coming in the door were actually capable of. In the final academic year I taught (12-13), the first year curriculum was covering things that were covered at A-level when I began (97-98).

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