Fat cat bosses at top universities are having their council tax and utility bills, as well as gardening and cleaning costs, paid as a perk at their grace-and-favour accommodation.
Vice-chancellors, deans and presidents at 40 institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, receive the benefits in addition to salaries of up to £450,000 a year.
In some cases, the perks extend to housekeepers employed to do washing and ironing. The combined cost of all bills paid on their behalf came to £331,000 during the last academic year.
A freedom of information request found 35 university bosses had utility bills paid, while 32 were covered for council tax and 30 had cleaning and/or gardening costs paid. In 25 cases, all three types of costs were paid.
The University and College Union (UCU), which represents higher education staff, said the perks amounted to ‘embarrassing largesse’ at a time when most university employees have seen their pay fall in real terms and students are facing rising tuition fees.
Among those benefiting are the country’s top-earning academic Dame Glynis Breakwell, vice-chancellor at the University of Bath. She is paid £451,000 and has been provided with a five-bedroom home in one of the spa town’s sought-after Georgian terraces….