Astonishing expenses of university vice-chancellors paid up to £350,000-a-year

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() Millions of students may be struggling to make ends meet but bosses at Britain’s elite universities are enjoying luxury hotels, fine dining and executive travel, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Vice-chancellors have been criticised over pay packages averaging more than £350,000 – but our findings show they have also spent more than £1.5 million between them on expenses.

Figures from 20 of the 24 Russell Group of universities reveal that staff have not only run up bills of thousands of pounds on high-end travel and accommodation, they also claim for more minor outlays such as £2.25 in chicken restaurant Nando’s.

Records covering the past three years show Cambridge University spent £39,749 booking staff into five-star hotels, including the Hong Kong Four Seasons, Singapore’s Fullerton Hotel and the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. 

Cambridge University spent almost £40,000 booking staff into luxury hotels including The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, but said they were 'appropriate' venues for high-level business

Cambridge University spent almost £40,000 booking staff into luxury hotels including The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore, but said they were 'appropriate' venues for high-level business

A spokesman said ‘appropriate’ venues were needed for high-level business, adding they are ‘committed to making savings’.

Durham’s £296,000-a-year vice-chancellor Stuart Corbridge charged £24,609 for flights, though a spokesman said: ‘He only travels business class if it’s overnight or if he has a meeting directly after a long-haul flight.’

At Bristol University, which has declared a ‘climate emergency’, staff racked up thousands of air miles between 2015 and 2018, including six visits to Shanghai and two to Washington DC. Five senior officials also charged for 111 trips with cab firm Uber. A spokesman said international travel was a vital part of the university’s work.

Stuart Corbridge, paid £296,000-a-year by Durham University, charged £24,609 for flights in three years

Stuart Corbridge, paid £296,000-a-year by Durham University, charged £24,609 for flights in three years

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