Finance report reveals Cambridge Vice-Chancellor paid £475,000 last year

In total, 486 University Group staff were paid over £100,000

Cambridge University’s annual finance report has revealed the salaries of its top-earning staff.

For the year ending 31 July 2021, it was revealed that University Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope was paid £475,000 in total, an increase from the £468,000 he was paid the previous year.

This included employer pension contributions and “benefits in kind” including private healthcare of £4,883 and flights home of £5,117. The report showed that the Vice-Chancellor’s “total renumeration” was 11.2 times the median pay of staff at the University.

The Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge was the fifth best paid in the country in 2019-2020, with the University of Essex’s Vice-Chancellor the best paid at £584,000, according to the Office for Students.

In addition, 486 University Group staff (including Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press) were paid over £100,000, an increase from 457 in 2020.  Six staff members were paid over £250,000.

“Promotions and Professorial Pay Reviews” were given as the main reason for pay increases. For the academic university, 82 moved up from a lower pay band.

Payment varied among the nine senior post holders, with the highest pay falling between £335,000 and £339,999.

The report also identified risk areas which the senior leadership of the University considered could have a “fundamental impact on the University’s ability to deliver its mission or to operate effectively.”

These included “reputational and financial impact through failure to meet widening student access targets, student dissatisfaction,” a failure to ensure the facilities are “of an acceptable standard” and inadequate support for student mental health and wellbeing. They also noted a “failure to recruit the very best undergraduate and postgraduate students.”

Among the potential responses to this outlined in the report were engagement with colleges on undergrad admissions and implementing the proposals of the University’s Access and Participation Plan.

This pledged to draw a third of Cambridge’s intake from the “most under-represented and disadvantaged groups” by 2035. As part of its own commitment to widening participation, Trinity College recently announced a new £4,050 grant.

The costs of the USS pension scheme was also noted as a risk area. Proposed cuts to this scheme were the cause of the UCU strikes that disrupted teaching earlier this year.

Overall, the report states that the University remains “financially strong” with an income of over £2 billion, having responded well to the Covid-19 crisis.

Featured Image Credits: Ted Bruce