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GoPros and limousines: UEA Senior Management staff expense claims revealed

They claimed money for luxurious dinners and hotels, to limousine and first class rail travel

Senior management staff at UEA have been revealed to have claimed for expenses such as first class rail travel, limousine rides, and luxurious meals in the heart of the capital, according to information that emerged this week after an FOI request from Concrete.

Expenses claimed for were revealed to range from "£160 limousine rides in Hong Kong, expensive meals, a GoPro camera, and a £500 fee to get a single book indexed."

Concrete reported Vice Chancellor, David Richardson "claimed over £10,000 in the academic year 2017-2018 only by Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science Philip Gilmartin, who claimed in excess of £15,000 on several trips to China, a GoPro camera setup and the renewal of his premium Skype subscription"

Andrew Whitaker, a third year Politics student commented: "It seems there’s definitely a culture of pushing it, and the pricey hotels stand out", whilst also feeling that "a ‘limousine’ probably should be seen in context, in Asia a standard car is often characterised as a limo and 160 quid doesn’t seem that outrageous."

However, he added he was "glad this had been highlighted", and that it needs to be made clear "what decides whether the expense meets the criteria."

There are 11 members of staff who are being paid over £150,000 a year, and the revelations of these expense claims have sat uncomfortably with students in the midst of rising accommodation fees and the already high tuition fees.

Alicia Perez, a third year International Relations student said: "At the end of the day, their job is to make the university as good as possible for students, and that money could be being used to improve our experience. Instead, it's being used to improve theirs."

The university told The Norwich Tab: "UEA is ranked one of the top 200 universities in the world, and has strategic, institutional partnerships with other universities across the globe.

"Members of the Executive Team are ambassadors for the University and undertake a wide variety of duties that directly support UEA's mission as a world-class university for teaching and research.

"Helping build UEA's profile internationally is extremely important to the long term success of the University and the Executive Team are required to travel in the course of their duties."

Image credit: UEA