- Sir Michael Barber said the Office for Students will ‘bear down’ on excessive pay
- It comes amid the growing row over vice chancellors’ generous pay packets
- Dame Glynis Breakwell is the highest paid VC in the country on £468,000
University vice chancellors who are paid many times the average staff salary will be named and shamed, the new watchdog has vowed.
Sir Michael Barber, chairman of the Office for Students, said the body would ‘bear down’ on pay levels that ‘look out of kilter’ with an institution’s performance.
It comes amid a growing row over vice chancellors’ generous pay packets and whether they provide value for students.
Sir Michael Barber (left) has warned highly paid university vice chancellors will be named and shamed. Dame Glynis Breakwell (right) is the highest paid VC in the country on £468,000
Dame Glynis Breakwell, the highest paid vice chancellor in the country on £468,000, has faced calls to resign over the largesse and the university has been criticised by the spending watchdog over her pay.
Sir Michael told BBC Radio Four’s Today programme: ‘One of the particular things we will do is look at the ratio between the vice chancellor’s pay and the average pay of the staff in an institution.
‘That will make it very visible where certain pay packets stand out like a sore thumb.’
Unions have said it is inappropriate for vice chancellors to get pay rises when ordinary staff wages remain stagnant.
Dame Glynis, vice chancellor of Bath University (pictured), has faced calls to resign over the largesse and the university has been criticised by the spending watchdog over her pay
However, Sir Michael said that universities would still have the independence to set their own pay rates.
‘I have said publicly to universities and to vice chancellors, the best form of regulation is self- regulation.
‘See among yourselves where the pay packets stand out and see whether you should reduce them.’
He added: ‘We aren’t going to interfere directly with university autonomy which is fundamental to the success of British universities.’