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Universities' income up, but money spent on staff down again

27 April 2017

Universities' total income increased by 3.6% between 2014/15 and 2015/16, according to new figures released today.

The figures, from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, reveal that total income is £34.7bn, up from £33.5bn in 2014/15. The data also shows that staff costs are just 54.6% of expenditure, compared to 55.7% the year before.

Student fees now make up 48.4% of universities' total income, compared to 46.4% in 2014/15. Universities enjoyed a £2.34bn surplus for the year, compared to £1.58bn in 2014/15.

UCU said that as income and reserves were up, it was time for universities to properly reward their staff. Staff have suffered real-terms pay cuts worth over 16% in the past seven years.

Meanwhile university vice-chancellors have continued to enjoy embarrassing inflation-busting rises and the full trappings of first class flights and generous expense accounts.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Universities' income is up and so is the amount of money they have in the bank, yet the amount of money they spend on staff is down once again. Universities have no shortage of warm words when it comes to their staff, but they have to stop taking them for granted.

'After years of real-terms pay cuts the time has come for fair pay in our universities and not just bumper rises and first class flights for those at the top.' 

Last updated: 28 April 2017