Durham’s Vice-Chancellor spent nearly £25,000 on luxury flights in the past 3 years and even more on hotels, taxi rides and trains.
Originally reported by The Mail on Sunday, Stuart Corbridge, Vice-Chancellor since September 2015, claimed the amount whilst travelling to represent the university internationally. This includes £4,348.86 and £2,168.86 spent on Business and Premium Economy return flights in November 2018, to Beijing and New York respectively.
The Vice-Chancellor travels by economy or premium economy class unless he is required to travel overnight or has a meeting directly after a long haul flight.
Jennifer Sewel, University Secretary, said: “Our Expenses and Hospitality Policy requires all spending to be in the public interest and achieve value for money.
“For example, when flying the Vice-Chancellor travels by economy or premium economy class unless he is required to travel overnight or has a meeting directly after a long haul flight.”
Published expenses show that Vice-Chancellor spent over £3000 in 2018 on accommodation during his travels, and close to £10,000 over three years.
The University reports the quarterly expenses of senior staff online, including those of all Pro-Vice-Chancellors, the COO and CFO.
All expense claims and payments made to senior managers of the University are in accordance with the University’s financial regulations.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education spent £188.95 on an Apple Pencil and Moleskin iPad Pro case in August of 2017.
The data has emerged after calls for pay restraints on academic staff in 2017, specifically concerning those being paid above £150,000 a year.
Despite this data, 124 out of 133 universities in the U.K. still pay their Vice-Chancellors more than £150,000 a year as of 2018, and more than 60 universities pay their senior staff up to £300,000 a year. On top of this, salaries of senior staff have continued to rise, with the average salary of university senior staff in 2018 up by 3.2% year on year, now lying at £253,000.
Image by Maddie Fishler