Oxford College’s vice-chancellor says it’s dishonest of politicians to hyperlink excessive ranges of pay for college leaders with will increase in tuition charges.
Louise Richardson accused “tawdry politicians” of undermining the UK’s college sector.
She mentioned that pay charges mirrored a “world market” and counterparts within the US have been a lot better paid.
Universities minister Jo Johnson and Labour’s Lord Adonis have warned in opposition to “extreme” pay ranges.
“I feel it is fully mendacious for politicians to counsel that vice-chancellors have used the £9,000 charges to reinforce their very own salaries,” mentioned Prof Richardson, talking in London on the Instances Greater Schooling World Educational Summit.
“We all know that the £9,000 charges have been an alternative choice to the withdrawal of presidency funding.
“My very own wage is £350,000 – which is a really excessive wage in comparison with our teachers – our junior teachers particularly, who’re very lowly paid.”
Worth for cash
However Prof Richardson mentioned college heads’ pay won’t look so excessive in contrast with footballers or bankers.
She mentioned that main UK universities needed to draw heads from world wide – and that meant competing financially in a “world market”.
In america, she mentioned that greater than 40 college leaders earned greater than $1m (£770,000) and that some acquired greater than $2m (£1.54m).
Universities have come beneath strain over excessive ranges of pay for senior employees – at a time when tuition charges and ranges of pupil debt are growing in England.
However Prof Richardson accused politicians of utilizing this to undermine the upper training sector.
“I feel that is simply the politicians, and I want they would not do it, not as a result of it is embarrassing for me or my colleagues however as a result of it is damaging.
“Why would you need to try to harm what is without doubt one of the most profitable elements of the British economic system?
“The calibre of college training is one thing that needs to be celebrated every day – not simply attempting to pull it down by making spurious correlations between charges and salaries.”
Universities minister Jo Johnson has warned of the “upward spiral” in vice-chancellors’ pay.
He informed universities in July that they wanted to do extra to reply to college students’ considerations about worth for cash – “particularly when some vice-chancellors take dwelling a wage that in some circumstances exceeds that of the prime minister”.
Labour’s former training minister Lord Adonis has attacked the rising ranges of pay for college leaders – at a time when college students confronted will increase in charges and rates of interest on loans.
4 MPs have resigned from their roles at the University of Bath, in protest on the pay acquired there by Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell, who’s the highest-paid vice-chancellor within the nation.
“At what level does it change into justifiable to pay somebody £450,000?” requested Bristol East MP, Kerry McCarthy, as she resigned.
Oxford head Prof Richardson additionally challenged universities to guard free speech on campus and to withstand those that needed to cease the airing of controversial views.
She mentioned that college students didn’t have a proper to not be offended – and that universities needed to be locations the place folks would possibly hear opinions they didn’t share.
“I’ve had many conversations with college students who say they do not really feel snug as a result of their professor has expressed views in opposition to homosexuality,” mentioned Prof Richardson.
“They do not really feel snug being in school with somebody with these views.
“And I say, ‘I am sorry, however my job is not to make you’re feeling snug. Schooling will not be about being snug. I am concerned with making you uncomfortable’.
“When you do not like his views, you problem them, have interaction with them, and determine how a sensible particular person can have views like that.
“Work out how one can persuade him to alter his thoughts. It’s troublesome, however it’s completely what we now have to do.”