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Education in the media: 7 December 2017

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Today’s media blog looks at the further scrutiny of senior academics pay.

Vice chancellor pay

Today, Thursday 7 December, there has been widespread scrutiny of senior academics’ pay following the departure of the vice chancellor of Bath Spa University, Professor Christina Slade, who received more than £800,000 in an exit package in her final year in the post.

This has been covered by BBC Online, The Daily Telegraph , The Times, Financial Times , Guardian and Daily Mail. BBC Breakfast ran the story in the news bulletins and The Today Programme ran a special feature this morning on universities, broadcasting live from Kent University.

The Universities Minister, Jo Johnson has repeatedly called on the sector to exercise restraint in terms of vice chancellor pay. In a speech in July, the Minister said when students and taxpayers invest so heavily in our higher education system, value for money should be guaranteed.

The Department will be issuing new guidance to the Office for Students to address this.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

Universities are autonomous when it comes to setting pay, but it's important this system commands public confidence and delivers value for money

This is why from next year the new Office for Students will expect transparency and accountability, with justifications required for exceptional levels of pay that exceed £150k.

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