Cambridge: More Money Than Monaco

Cambridge may be richer than Monaco, but it still doesn't pay the living wage.

The extent of the University’s wealth was revealed today, as total assets of around £4 billion were announced – way ahead of any other educational institution in Britain.

The figures were released on the same day as Unions within Cambridge claimed that at least 1000 employees of the university are paid below the ‘living wage’.

Cambridge is not only the richest university in Britain, ahead of the Other Place and Edinburgh, but is also worth more per capita than Monaco, the world’s richest country.

With around 30,000 staff and students the University’s wealth equates to about £130,000 per person, £22,000 more than the principality.

Yet, according NUS and Unison’s joint figures, some staff are earning less that £12,334 a year – the minimum wage for a 40-hour week.

This is in contrast to the princely sums earned by the vice-chancellor, on almost £250,000 a year, around 20 times as much as the lowest earners.

The Other Place meanwhile came in second of the British Universities, a cool £700 million pounds behind.

The relative riches of Oxbridge compared to other Higher Education facilities was emphasized by the fact that third placed Edinburgh were valued at just £200 million, a measly 5% of Cantab wealth.

Pride at yet again being number one was tinted with a hint of shame when The Tab spoke to students. Nick Marshall, second year at Trinity said “I knew Cambridge was minted, but this is ridiculous. They’re laughing all the way to the bank with a stonking paycheck.”

It is not just the colleges and the university as a whole who are doing well though – CUBC have a considerable wealth of about £1.6 million, while the rugby club are sitting pretty with about £800,000, and even Real Tennis have around £100,000 in the bank, leading to calls from some students to spread the wealth.

David Wilson, second year at Clare said “Some of that wealth should be shared around more societies. Clare Growing Society could always do with a bit more cash for our crops.”

The University’s financial position is thought to be largely dependent on huge donations from alumni, with the latest drive totaling £1.17 billion.


  • References?

    "The figures were released on the same day as Unions within Cambridge claimed that at least 1000 employees of the university are paid below the ‘living wage’. … some staff are earning less that £12,334 a year – the minimum wage for a 40-hour week."

    Can you provide a link to the figures? None of the articles on this have made it clear whether the staff in question are full-time or not. For instance several students are on the University payroll as casual staff, such as those who work the ADC bar or box office.

  • Gimmie gimmie…

    I say we spend it all on trifle. A massive strawberry trifle with sherry from the Trinity wine cellars, alpine goat cream (for the cool factor!) and on top a mixture of space and gold leaf (or maybe platinum leaf?). Then place a diving board on the side and we can have the time of our lives.

  • Reader

    Good journalism, appreciated

  • loaded

    good job the 'necessary' fee rise to 9 G's a year was introduced. Fuck knows how the institution would survive without that.

  • Largerfeld

    It's a shame that there isn't more central control of finances here. It shouldn't be the case that poorer colleges have less resources than their richer counterparts. The same goes for societies…..why on earth do they need such large cash reserves?

    • Annoyed

      This is true, it would be fantastic for the university to allocate some of the proceeds from its assets to the poorer colleges; there shouldn't be as huge a disparity of resources as there is between the the very rich colleges and the rest of us; we are one university after all. It shouldn't be the case that it is more difficult to get a first at a 'lower' college (ie one of the poorer ones with poorly stocked libraries, less eminent supervisors etc) than at one of the top few – but it does make a first from one of the less well resourced colleges that bit more of an achievement as a general rule. But this shouldn't be the case. The best investment a university can make is in education.

  • Haters Gon Hate

    Now class, I think you all owe a big thank you to TRINITY..

  • assets not cash


  • Logic Fail

    Last I checked, Monaco doesn't have an endowment. It has GDP per capita, which is the figure you're using and is in no way related to endowment per staff and student. It doesn't even make financial sense to combine staff and students since one is a source of income and the other expenditure – you're double counting which actually weakens any semblance of a point you might have.

    Good luck finding the assets per person of Monaco, but I reckon it's probably a little bit more than £100,000. This endowment income would probably be equivalent to about £3,000/student max (disregarding staff because that would be moronic), which is a little less than the average Monacan.

    I know the Tab isn't exactly a bastion of journalistic ambition, but it's nonetheless quite baffling that it took two £130,000 minds to club together and form this drivel.

    In other news, Cambridge has more endowment per student than Scotland has goats per horse.

  • How is

    £12k not a living wage? Tell that to the billions of people in the world living on under $2 a day….

    • corpusenglish

      differing purchasing powers of money + concept of relative poverty.

    • Okay then….

      Why don't you join them and give most of your money away? Just so you can say you aren't hypocritical.

      • How is

        it hypocritical to not give most of my money away? Just because a lot of people live on that amount of money doesn't mean I want to or want anyone else to – I was pointing out that the lifestyle afforded by £12000/year in this country is living like a king to many people in the world. To call it "not a living wage" is both preposterous and deeply insulting to the vast majority of the world's population who live on incomes which give a far less comfortable life than that. Wow, you guys are supposed to be at Cambridge…

    • Economistfartypants

      Have you not even heard of relativity? A price of a house here, a price of a house there… The shopping bill here, the shopping bill there…

      • Actual Economist

        The figure of $2 is $2 purchasing power parity, ie. how much $2 would buy in the US. The actual amount in terms of nominal currency would be much lower. So the equivalent is maybe £1.50 a day salary in the UK…. £12k doesn't seem so bad now right?

  • tbj

    I like playing rugby

    • have you

      changed your middle name?

      • Tomos Prys-Jones

        double barrelled last name actually

  • Trojohn

    Johns: More money than Monaco

  • Unsurprised

    Hmm but if you think about it the university is actually at least 30 educational institutions (the colleges) plus all the departments which work separately financially plus the UL etc. Not really that surprising when you look at it that way.

  • Hang on a second…

    Even a Madgalene land economist starting through the bottom of a Pimms glass should be able to see that this doesn't add up.

    GDP and gross assets are obviously not comparable, since the former doesn't take into account the value of all assets in an economy (land, buildings, bank assets, underground economies and so on). The article is essentially comparing Cambridge's total balance sheet with Monaco's income statement, which isn't really fair, when one considers Monaco's banks contain over a hundred billion dollars.

    The University's loaded, but it certainly doesn't have more money than Monaco.

  • jonny singer's brain

    First of all, if your doing a job that would normally only earn min wage, then you are entitled to min wage. Just because the institution you are working for is rich, doesn't mean you deserve more money, or should get more. If a cleaner any where ales is getting paid min wage, then why shouldnt one at Cambridge.
    Secondly, you wouldn't just spread the money between different socs; they have all earned their own money in different ways, basically as separate companies. A lot of it is donations.

    • Jonny should use it

      Except the price of accommodation in Cambridge is higher than in many other places. The article says that many people working for the university are earning less than the LIVING wage, less than it would be expected to need to cover daily costs and live with an acceptable standard of living. Cambridge can afford to pay its staff an acceptable wage therefore it is totally unacceptable that they don't.

  • Thomas Spooner

    Maybe if I threw my money at the employees rather than my friends on pub cricket, they wouldn't need a living wage!

  • Daily Mail Fail

    The Tab really ought to get onto the Daily Mail, who've just ripped off this article almost verbatim:

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