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Boss who earns £222k says vice chancellors not paid enough

The boss of a low-ranking university who drives a Bentley, sails a 30ft yacht, and earns a £222,000 salary has claimed vice-chancellors are not paid enough.

George Holmes, head of Bolton University, said he is worth his huge pay as he is a ‘success’.

The 56-year-old, who earns almost 50 per cent more than the Prime Minister, also said university bosses should be paid more or they could leave the country.

Professor Holmes made the claims despite a £20,000 pay rise last year – and a loan of almost £1million from the university to buy a home set in four acres.

Pictured: Dr George Holmes, vice-chancellor of Bolton University, with his Rolls Royce. He said he is worth his £222,000 salary because he is a 'success' 

Pictured: Dr George Holmes, vice-chancellor of Bolton University, with his Rolls Royce. He said he is worth his £222,000 salary because he is a 'success' 

Universities minister Jo Johnson last week called for an end to the ‘upwards ratchet’ of vice- chancellors’ pay when student fees are about to rise to £9,250.

But Professor Holmes told the Daily Mail yesterday: ‘The criticism of our pay is an unfair attack … When the student loans came in, universities were even more difficult to manage.

‘That is the justification for chief executives like me being paid high salaries.’

Bolton, which became a university in 2004, charges the full £9,000 yearly fee despite one of the lowest graduate employment rates last year – 85.9 per cent.

It is ranked 125th of 129 in the Complete University Guide and 129th out of 160 for satisfaction in the National Student Survey.

A survey by Grant Thornton found that in 2015-16, student numbers fell by 6 per cent. Professor Holmes insisted he was running a ‘complex, commercial organisation’, telling the Financial Times: ‘I work 80 to 120 hours a week … I have had a very successful career. I hope students use their education to get a good job and then they can have a Bentley.’

When challenged over whether high vice-chancellor salaries were the best use of public money and tuition fees, he claimed: ‘University leaders are doing a very good job … Those at the top end of the sector are not

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