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November 2013

Freedom of Information requests expose low pay in higher education

LRD was commissioned by UNISON and the NUS to use freedom of information (FOI) requests to research the extent of low pay and outsourcing in higher education.

An FOI request was sent to all 146 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a response received from 141 equating to 96.6% per cent coverage of the sector.

The FOI requests related to 2012- 2013, during which the Living Wage rate was 7.45 outside of London and 8.55 inside London.

  • 12,592 employees were paid less than the Living Wage by UK universities.

  • 80 institutions paid some employees less than the Living Wage

  • The mean average highest annual salary across the salary, usually a Vice-Chancellor, was just over 15 times that of the average lowest salary, at 218,746 compared to 14,247.

  • 97 universities outsourced some of their cleaning, catering or security services.

Read The Living Wage in the UK Higher Education Sector


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