Successful university chiefs should not be ashamed of their salaries, says vice-chancellor earning £200,000 a year

The Telegraph reports that Professor George Holmes earned more than £222,120 in pay and perks last year and owns a yacht moored on Lake Windermere.

“I have had a very successful career, “ he told the Financial Times. ”I hope students use their education to get a good job and then they can have a Bentley. Do you want to be taught by someone who is successful or a failure?”.

Average pay among UK vice-chancellors – the term universities’ use for a chief executive – has reached £280,000 per year, while tuition fees for undergraduate students are now £9,000 per year and cuts to university funding continue.

University unions, student groups and Jo Johnson, the universities minister, have said they are are overpaid and should justify their “exceptional” salaries in their annual reports.

But Prof Holmes rejected the idea saying vice-chancellors were not civil servants and should not be subjected to the same pay scales. 

Prof Holmes, who became vice-chancellor in 2006, two years after Bolton achieved university status, insists he is worth the salary. He had overseen £82m of investment in new buildings and assets as well as cutting unpopular courses and opening new ones. 

While he sympathises with the 780 university staff and 600 college employees who have been forced to suffer below-inflation pay rises, he said the only way to resolve the problem is to raise tuition fees even further.

Read more Successful university chiefs should not be ashamed of their salaries, says vice-chancellor earning £200,000 a year

What do you think? Are they worth it? Please tell us thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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