Vice-Chancellor's Office Pay Statement – 2019/20

The latest Annual Accounts cover remuneration paid in 2019/20 with Covid-19 only starting to have an impact towards the end of this reporting period. Responsibly and sustainably managing the University finances remains a key priority during this challenging time. Making prudent decisions about expenditure at a time when we can only estimate the cost of the pandemic means that the University can continue to invest in longer-term strategic projects including the development of the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, completion of the new School of Engineering and a £9m investment in IT infrastructure, as well as making immediate decisions to fund other critical areas including a £10m Enhanced Student Hardship Fund, significant rent rebates for students in University accommodation and costs associated with putting in place Covid-related measures across campus.

Vice-Chancellors remuneration

The University of Birmingham is committed to transparency with regard to the remuneration of senior staff, including that of the Vice-Chancellor, and publishes these annually in the University’s Annual Accounts (link). 

The remuneration figures in the latest Annual Accounts relate to payments made in 2019/20 following decisions of the Remuneration Committee in October 2019: well before the pandemic and based on performance in 2018/19.

In October 2020, reflecting the uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the University’s Remuneration Committee made the decision not to make any changes to base pay or to award additional performance-related pay to any member of the University’s senior staff, including the Vice-Chancellor, this year. The Vice-Chancellor’s total remuneration, inclusive of that relating to pension contributions, will fall from £457k in 2019/20, as stated in the accounts, to £397k in 2020/21. This will be reflected in the 2020/21 Annual Accounts.

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 and this is reflected in his remuneration.

  • Financial responsibility: In 2019/20 the University’s annual turnover was in excess of £745m, up from £716m in 2018/19 as well as assets of over £1.2bn. Specifically in 2019/20 under Sir David’s leadership the impact of reduced income during lockdown and restricted operations was mitigated by tighter cost controls and the deferral of discretionary and capital expenditure to ensure cash retention.
  • Leadership: The University has approximately 35,000 students and 8,000 members of staff, and contributes more than £3.5billion to the economy. 
  • Student success: The University has continued to maintain the highest standards of teaching associated with achieving Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework.  It maintained a strong student recruitment performance in a challenging environment with a significant demand from applicants to study at Birmingham; maintained amongst the highest levels of graduate employment in the sector; and invested significantly in student hardship and wellbeing support.
  • Research performance:  The University had an exceptional research performance in 2019/20 with the research awards in excess of £200m p.a.; growth of our research reputation; and the recruitment of internationally renowned academics

The Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration also reflects his 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.

In the last few years increases to the Vice-Chancellor’s pay have been less than or in line with average increases paid to other staff.  In the last year, the Vice-Chancellor’s remuneration increased by 2% between 2018/19 and 2019/20.  As a percentage of university turnover the Vice-Chancellor’s salary is less than a third of the sector average (0.06% compared to the sector average of 0.23%).

The Vice-Chancellor is a significant donor to a range of institutions and causes that change people’s lives. This includes giving over £100,000 to the University of Birmingham, as well as to numerous other educational, cultural, and social causes

Other benefits

When COVID-19 restrictions allow, the Vice-Chancellor’s residence on campus is used as a venue for a wide range of University events for staff, students and external stakeholders. The Vice-Chancellor has shared use of a University car for business-related travel.

Remuneration Committee

In accordance with the CUC Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code, the Vice-Chancellor is not a member of the 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. The University complies with OFS Accounts Direction and other guidance on senior staff remuneration, including the CUC Higher Education Senior Staff Remuneration Code.


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