Fighting fund banner


Transparency at the top?

4 March 2015

Each year we send Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests to UK higher education institutions designed to shine a light on the arbitrary nature of senior pay and perks in universities, and support the union's call for reform.

This includes information about senior pay, spending on flights, hotels and accommodation as well as the ratified minutes of the institution's remuneration committee.

Full reports

Transparency at the Top? The fifth report of senior pay and perks at UK universities, May 2019 [1mb]

Transparency at the top? The fourth report of senior pay and perks in UK universities, Feb 2018 [1mb]

Transparency at the top? The third report of senior pay and perks in UK universities, Feb 17 [2mb]

Transparency at the top? The second report of senior pay and perks in UK universities, Feb 16 [1001kb]

Transparency at the top? Senior pay and perks in UK universities, Mar 15 [1mb]

Snapshot of VC pay decisions

The snapshot below is from 2014 when UCU asked to see the minutes of remuneration committees - the powerful committee tasked with setting the vice-chancellor's pay. Just 27 out of 139 institutions agreed to share these minutes and reveals the inherent secrecy of these decisions taken in UK higher education.

| A | B | C | DE | FG | H | IJK | L | M | N | OPQ | R | S | TU | WY |


Did not respond:
Southampton, University of
Buckinghamshire New University
Coventry University
De Montfort University
Edge Hill University
University College London
University of West London

Minutes not sent:
Aberdeen, University of
Arts University Bournemouth
Bath Spa University
Birmingham, University of
Bishop Grosseteste University
Bolton, University of
Bradford, University of
Brunel University, University of
Canterbury Christ Church University
Central Lancashire, University of
Chichester, University of
City University London
Courtauld Institute of Art
East London, University of
Edinburgh Napier University
Essex, University of
Falmouth University
Hertfordshire, University of
Heythrop College
Huddersfield, University of
Imperial College London
Keele University
King's College London
Lancaster University
Leeds, University of
Leeds Beckett University
Leeds Trinity University College
Lincoln, University of
Liverpool, University of
Liverpool Hope University
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Minutes not sent (cont):
Manchester, University of
Newcastle University
Newman University College
Northampton, University of
Northumbria University
Nottingham Trent University
Plymouth University
Portsmouth, University of
Queen Mary London
Roehampton, University of
Royal Academy of Music
Royal Agricultural University
Royal College of Art
Royal College of Music
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Sheffield, University of
St George's London
St Mark and St John
St Mary's University, Twickenham
Staffordshire University
Sussex, University of
Teesside University
the West of Scotland
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
University Campus Suffolk
University College Birmingham
University of London
Warwick, University of
Writtle University College
York, University of
York St John University

Full minutes provided:

  • Aberystwyth University
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Aston University

Full minutes provided:

  • Bangor University
  • Birmingham City University

Full minutes provided:

  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • Chester, University of
  • Cranfield University

  • East Anglia, University of
  • Exeter, University of

Full minutes provided:

  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Glasgow, University of
  • Greenwich, University of
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Full minutes provided:

  • Institute of Education

Full minutes provided:

  • Leeds College of Art
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Metropolitan University

Full minutes provided:

  • Middlesex University

Full minutes provided:

  • Norwich University of the Arts

Full minutes provided:

  • The Open University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Queen's University Belfast

Full minutes provided:

  • Reading, University of
  • Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Royal Northern College of Music


Full minutes provided:

  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • St Mary's University College Belfast
  • St Andrews, University of
  • Stirling, University of
  • Strathclyde, University of
  • Surrey, University of
  • Swansea University

Full minutes provided:

  • University of Ulster 

Full minutes provided:

  • West of England, University of
  • Westminster, University of
  • Wolverhampton, University of
  • Worcester, University of
  • Wales, Trinity St David, University of

Last updated: 15 August 2019