Three Yorkshire universities 'pay nearly 400 staff over £100,000'

The University of Leeds paid 158 staff over 100,000, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance Picture: Google Maps
The University of Leeds paid 158 staff over 100,000, according to the TaxPayers' Alliance Picture: Google Maps
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THREE Universities in Yorkshire are paying 390 staff over £100,000 on average, according to a pressure group.

The University of Leeds came eighth on a national list, with 158 workers on average on a pay package, including pension contributions and other benefits, of more than £100,000, according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

Meanwhile the University of York, in tenth place, had 127 staff on more than £100,000 in total remuneration, with Sheffield in fifteenth place with 105.

The figures came from freedom of information requests and were based on an average of three years’ total remuneration data, but excluded Oxford and Cambridge, which did not provide the full details requested.

According to the group, which campaigns for a low tax society, the University of Edinburgh had the most high earners, with 335 staff receiving over £100,000 in total remuneration, of which 118 took over £150,000.

The group said their analysis of 115 institutions showed “a strong correlation that the greater the number of highly paid staff a university has, the higher the average earnings of a graduate.”

They added: “This trend is consistent at both the £100,000 and £150,000 level, it is however much weaker in the case of the highest earning staff.”

It said the findings should “encourage students to press for the best value from their tuition fees, as well as help taxpayers hold universities to account for the money they are spending”.

Grassroots Assistant Kieran Neild said: “Taxpayers and students will be left with a degree of uncertainty over whether this is money is being well spent, particularly when left-wing professors are so keen to lecture them about the evils of inequality.

“Instead of constantly complaining about faculty budget cuts, uni bosses need to get their bumper wage bills under control and focus on providing their students with the very best higher education they can.”

The group also highlighted the “ever-growing burden” on future generations of unpaid student loans, citing a total liability of £450bn by 2050, as a result of only 30 per cent of full-time undergraduate loans expected to be paid in full.

They also pointed out that the main pension scheme for universities, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, has amassed a £5.7bn deficit.

The University of York, recently ranked 22nd in the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, said remuneration packages they offer "reflect the level of responsibility, unique skills and depth and breadth of experience required to operate a dynamic institution in a globally competitive higher education market.

A spokesperson added: "We also have a number of staff who are jointly employed by the University and the NHS. The University takes the consideration of senior pay very seriously and we complete an equal pay review every two years, as part of our commitment to equality and diversity among our workforce."

Leeds University, ranked 13th in the same league table, said: “In order to provide our students with an exceptional education and to produce world-class research, it’s vital we offer terms that attract and retain the very best people, while striving to ensure value for money.”

Other Yorkshire universities to provide data included Leeds Beckett (28 on over £100,000 total pay); Huddersfield (28); Bradford (16); Sheffield Hallam (12) Leeds Trinity (5) and York St John (4).