Kingston’s new VC, Julius Weinberg, has recently announced that his salary for the current financial year is £220,400 nearly £80,000 more than Prime Minister David Cameron.
The news stunned Kingston students who described the salary as “shocking” and “mental”.
Third-year Politics student, Josh Groom, said: “I think it’s absolutely shocking. Far be it for me to say that the guy is not earning it but to reap £220,000 and to earn more than the Prime Minister is absolutely mental.”
In fact KU’s new VC is paid £7,600 less than his predecessor Sir Peter Scott, and has taken a pay cut of £18,600 from his last job at City University.
Max Skach, a first year Film Studies student, said: “I think that pay cut is so that he can say that he has taken a pay cut, as a justification thing, which is entirely out of order.”
A KU spokesperson said: “Professor Weinberg believes that the pay of individuals such as himself who head public sector organisations should be transparent; motivations for agreeing a specific package are private.”
Between 2002 and 2010, the salary of Kingston’s VC increased by 70 per cent – or £94,000 – to a total of £228,000 by the time Sir Peter left office early this year.
But this steep increase in VC pay has been reflected across the country. According to The Guardian, over 80 VCs earned more than the Prime Minister last year and many have seen their wages double and even triple over the past 10 years.
But Kingston students struggle to understand what it is that qualifies the extortionate pay, especially at this time of savage cuts to university funding and running.
Harry Watson, a first year Film Studies student, said: “£220,000 sounds overly inflated. I don’t know what the VC’s job entails exactly but I think £100,000 would be enough of a salary for any job that I can think of within education.”
Mouatasim Shahid, a third year Pharmaceutical Science student, said: “Our tuition fees go up and these people get paid crazy money, making it harder for us to get into Uni. It’s unfair. I think the VC should definitely earn less than the Prime Minister.”