In the previous post, I explained how the take-home value of your salary has been eroded by 15% over the last five years. Today, I'll map that decline in the value of your pay against UK university finances, to challenge any sense that our pay has been squeezed because of the health of HEIs's finances.
A HEFCE report from October 2014 on the financial health of the higher education sector 2013/14 to 2016/17 summed up the situation accurately.
Bottom line: the short term viability of institutions was not a concern.
Over the period in which your pay sank in value by 15%, the following is evident:
· UK universities cash reserves increased by 57.4%
· Income has increased by 14.7%
· Capital expenditure has increased by 8.2%
· And the cost of paying staff as a percentage of expenditure dropped by -1.2%
One might sum that up by saying that paying us less has contributed to universities becoming richer. You may feel proud to work at your institution; you may consider yourself lucky to have a job – does that mean you are so grateful and proud that you are content for them to keep some of what you have rightly earned to bolster the university's bank accounts and investments?
It is worth noting that this report cited here used data that did not include the recent additional 30,000 students recruited following the removal of the cap.
[with thanks to Mark Taylor-Batty, President, Leeds UCU]