Published on February 17, 2014 | by Laure Fourquet


SU urges Vice Chancellor to turn down pay rise

UAL Vice Chancellor Nigel Carrington

UAL Vice Chancellor Nigel Carrington currently earns more than the Prime Minister

UAL’s Students’ Union has urged Vice-Chancellor Nigel Carrington to follow the example of two other London university bosses who recently declined the large pay rises.

Instead of increasing their salaries, Queen Mary University of London’s principal Simon Gaskell will fund five scholarships estimated at a total of £50,000, while City University’s Vice-Chancellor Paul Curran will forgo a £42,000 performance-related bonus.

SUARTS President Shelly Asquith said: “I would really welcome it if Carrington looked at what they have done, followed their examples and acknowledged that there is a huge pay discrepancy in higher education. In difficult times the highest paid should be taking a hit.”

The salary of UAL Vice-Chancellor was increased by more than £4,500 in 2012 despite university staff facing cuts and the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees.

His salary, which is now £239,175, is nearly £100,000 higher than that of Prime Minister David Cameron, who makes £142,500.


Recently, Ministers Vince Cable and David Willetts criticised vice-chancellors’ failure to show “restraint” over pay.

In a letter to the England Higher Education Funding Council, Ministers said they were “very concerned about the substantial upward drift of salaries” as it has emerged that public funding for universities is suffering important cuts and students are now paying £9,000-a-year tuition fees.

When asked whether UAL’s Vice-Chancellor would be willing to consider following his counterparts’ examples, Nick Rogers, Director of HR at UAL told Arts London News:

“Since Nigel Carrington joined in September 2008 his salary has increased by just over six per cent. Other staff groups covered by national pay negotiations have received nearly eight per cent in the same period, plus the annual incremental progression which many UAL staff receive.”

Haydn Morris of the Unite union, which represents university technicians, administrators and management staff said: “This smacks of rank hypocrisy – given that university staff have endured a six-year pay drought which has seen a 13 per cent cut in pay real terms since 2008.”

He added: “Many vice-chancellors have talked down to their staff and told them to accept a one per cent rise – representing another real terms pay cut – as it is the best they can expect, while happily pocketing big sums themselves.”


“All universities have extremely complex flows of income that need to be balanced, but we aim to be as transparent as possible.” Nigel Carrington

However, UAL University and College Union (UCU) representative Gary Horne told ALN that the cuts suffered by the staff had nothing to do with Vice-Chancellor’s salary increase.

“Yes, there is an argument that the amount of money that goes to people is not fair, but that’s not the issue for us. Even if Carrington gets £20,000 taken off his pay, this is not going to make a difference to us,” Horne told ALN.

The Vice-Chancellor was recently asked in an online petition set up by UAL student Karoline Andersen to encourage more financial transparency, to which he replied: “All universities have extremely complex flows of income that need to be balanced, but we aim to be as transparent as possible”

UAL’s  annual financial reports are published online and show that since 2009 the university has reported an annual surplus of between £10 million and £16 million, and that in July 2013, the university had total reserves of more than £264 million.

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