Statement on the Vice-Chancellor's pay

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood said: "I am committed to giving generously. The value of my giving to the University of Birmingham alone, for example, exceeds £100,000. I also give to numerous other educational, cultural, and social causes. My intention is quietly to exemplify the virtue of philanthropy. As a result of my earnings and personal belief in the importance of philanthropy I am able to give significant support to a range of institutions and causes that change people’s lives, and more generally use what I earn responsibly and with integrity."

Professor Sir David Eastwood is recognised within the higher education sector as a highly successful and experienced leader of a large, complex organisation with global reach. The University contributes more than £3.5billion to the economy. It has more than 34,000 students, 7,000 members of staff, an annual turnover in excess of £650m, and assets of £1.2bn. The Vice-Chancellor’s total remuneration reflects the size and complexity of the organisation, and as a percentage of university turnover it is half the sector average (0.065% compared to the sector average of 0.135% in 2015/16.) It also reflects Sir David’s huge experience – he was previously Chief Executive of HEFCE and AHRC, and Vice-Chancellor of UEA and is a go-to person nationally and internationally for advice on Higher Education policy matters.

There is a global market for talented University leaders, with many Australian and North American universities paying significantly more than leading UK institutions: a reality which needs acknowledging if the UK wishes to retain its cherished position as being second only to the US for its HE system.

University performance

Under Sir David’s leadership, it is widely recognised that the University’s performance has improved markedly. Aspects of this rise include: high levels of student satisfaction, Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework, huge demand from applicants for our courses, the best QAA report in the sector, amongst the highest levels of graduate employment in the sector, growth in the value of research grants and quality of research, and improved positions in the domestic league tables.  Birmingham is a vital anchor institutions for the City and Region, with major innovations such as the University of Birmingham School and Institute of Translational Medicine benefitting the people of Birmingham.  This is an international university, with partnerships across the globe and a much expanded international presence.  We are also one of the most successfully-run universities in the sector, with a sustained and strong financial performance, which enables us to continue to make major investments in students, staff and facilities - including a commitment to invest more than £600 million over the next few years on transforming our campus. The Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration reflects these achievements, as does our approach to rewarding colleagues’ contributions across the University.

The Vice-Chancellor continues to be a generous donor to the University and other higher education institutions.

Remuneration Committee

No members of staff, including the Vice-Chancellor, are present at Remuneration Committee for discussions of their own remuneration. All decisions on senior pay are made by the University’s Remuneration Committee of lay members of Council. The Remuneration Committee is not chaired by the Chair of Council, who determines the Vice-Chancellor’s objectives and reports on his performance, but by the Deputy Pro-Chancellor, to ensure the independence of judgement. The University makes a transparent and detailed disclosure on how the Remuneration Committee determines senior pay in its Annual Accounts, and follows HEFCE requirements on senior pay and the CUC Governance Code. 

In the last few years increases to the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration have been less than or in line with average increases paid to other staff, including in the last year where the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration increased by 3% and the average increase in staff pay was 3.8%.

Senior staff pay

In line with other major research universities, the significant majority of senior staff paid more than £100k are not ‘managers’ but are in fact Professors, or Clinical Academics on NHS pay structures. And like other global universities our senior salaries reflect the quality of colleagues we recruit and retain and the fierce and global competition for the best staff. Ultimately, it is our students who benefit from our ability to attract and retain the best staff.

Other benefits

The Vice-Chancellor’s residence on campus is used as a venue for more than 100 University events for staff, students and external stakeholders every year.  The Vice-Chancellor has shared use of a University car.