The PPU Report

Download here: The PPU Report 1.1

Protect the Public University – Warwick has compiled this report as part of our ongoing investigation into the state of Higher Education, both at the University of Warwick and nationally. We are committed to build on our findings, and on 19 June 2013 we submitted six Freedom of Information requests to the University of Warwick.

Updates will be published as new data is scrutinized. They will be released both as individual samples of new research, as well as a continuing master document of the full report as it stands at that date.

We are here. We are in constant session.

  • In the year ending 31st July 2012 the University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor’s compensation increased by £42,000 – going up from £274,000 to £316,000. This is a 15.33% increase. [1]
  • In the same financial year as the Vice-Chancellor received his £42,000 increase, the  lowest paid full-time member of staff (Payroll code FA 1A) earned £14,061. [2]
  • This means that just the increase to the VC’s remuneration is nearly 3 times the lowest paid full-time worker’s wage. The VC’s total remuneration is 22 times the lowest salary.
  • In 2008 the same salary bracket earned £13,787. [3]
  • This amounts to a yearly increase of 0.75% (well below inflation during the period 2008-12 which ranged from 1.8 to 4.2%). [4]
  • Many staff on campus are employed on a casual, part-time basis with no job security. 40% of postgraduates who teach at the University of Warwick do not receive a formal contract. [5]
  • The number of staff at the University of Warwick paid over £100,000 has increased dramatically year-on-year. In the financial year ending 31st July 2007, 46 people were paid over £100,000 – by 2012, 110 were paid over £100k. This is a 139% increase over the five years. [6]
  • For the first time in the history of University of Warwick a staff member (Nigel Thrift) has been awarded a package worth over £300,000. [7]
  • This is not an unusually high salary for a Vice-Chancellor, in 2011/12 the 10 highest paid Vice-Chancellors were each awarded total packages of between £360,000 and £420,000. [8]
  • The Warwick Remuneration Committee, the managerial body that awarded Nigel Thrift his increase, is constituted of 4 members: 2 are currently active in the private sector, and 1 is Nigel Thrift himself. [9]

*

  • Total staff numbers at the University of Warwick  have dropped every year since 2009, going from 4,523 in 2009 to 4,351 in 2012. [10]
  • From 2010 to 2012 academic staffing levels have dropped by 3.7% each year. This is a net loss of 128 academic staff in just two years. [11]
  • The University of Warwick’s financial surplus has increased year-on-year since the end of 2009 – from £2.7 million in 2009 to £31million in 2012. The financial surplus in 2012 is 7.04% of turnover. [12]
  • Spending on teaching and research as a percentage of income has decreased from 55.4% in the financial year ending 31st July 2009 to 51.7% at the end of 2012. [13]

*

  • The grant given to the SU from the University has fallen from £2,346,000 in the year ending 31 July 2009 to £2,151,000 in the year ending 2012 (despite the dramatic increase of their financial surplus). [14]
  • “The Council is the executive governing body of the University with particular managerial responsibilities for finance and the University estate, and also a more general remit to oversee the conduct of University business in concert with the Senate.” [15] At the University of Warwick student representatives make up only 7% of the membership of the Council. [16]
  • Out of the 30 people who have access to University council meetings (of which 27 are members and 3 are attendees) 13 have corporate backgrounds, 11 are academics, 5 are public figures and 2 are students.
  • This means that the largest single group with a say in the highest decision making body in the university are (or have been) heavily involved in the private sector. [17]
  • “The Senate is the supreme academic authority of the University.” [18] At the University of Warwick student representatives make up only 6.25% of the membership of the Senate. [19]
  • Low as these figures for student representation are, they are in keeping with the national average.

*

  • In the year ending 2012 accommodation ‘Hurst’ was shut down (only charged £76 per week).
  • In the year ending 2013 both ‘Benefactors’ and ‘Whitefields’ will be shut down (£97 and £79 per week respectively).
  • The new accommodation – ‘Bluebell’ (opened 2011) and ‘Sherbourne’ (opened 2012) cost £153 and £132 per week respectively. This is part of an ongoing process whereby those who are materially less affluent are marginalized by the capital investment and strategic decisions of the university. [20]

*

  • Worrying reports have been published indicating that despite the Russell Group’s official continued focus on “widening access to leading universities for students from all backgrounds” [21] members of this group of top research led universities are “privately urging ministers to cut funding for poor students in a Whitehall battle to protect their budgets.” (our italics) [22]
  • On 13/02/2012 the Guardian published an article suggesting that “by 2015 the amount being offered in bursaries by English universities will be £70m lower than it was in 2009-10.” [23]
  • The University of Warwick, as a Russell Group member, has not opposed lobbying to remove the cap on tuition fees. Indeed, the Vice-Chancellor has voiced support for such a move. [24]
  • Intake from “low participation” areas has increased from 4.2% of first years in 2010 to 5% in 2012. However, this is still significantly below the national average (which was only 10.2% in 2012). [25]

*

  • Student loans taken out after 1998 are the only loans where the terms and conditions are changeable after the contract has been signed. [26]
  • Student loans taken out before 1998 are ‘Mortgage Style Loans’ whereby the terms and conditions are fixed.
  • Loans taken out since this date are ‘Income Contingent’, and repayments vary with earnings.
  • Though terms and conditions state that interest rates on this debt are to be capped, the government is actively considering removing such caps to aid the privatization of £40bn of student debt. [27]
  • This proposal was put forward in a report submitted to government from the Rothschild Investment Bank back in 2011. The report has not been made publicly available or shown to Higher Education professionals but it is understood to still be under “active review”. [28]
  • False Economy website obtained access to the report by submitting a Freedom of Information request; worryingly “over 90% of it was redacted.” [29]

*

  • In 2008 Peter Mandelson became Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Later that year he merged this department with the department for Innovation, Universities and Skills creating the department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This means that Higher Education is officially classified as part of the government’s business sector.
  • “Courses that deliver improved employability will prosper.” (our italics) [30]
  • Ken Sloan, Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of Warwick University, and Bob Hogg, the Business Development Director, have both worked previously for Serco. [31]
  • Serco, which last year generated turnover of close to £5bn [32], profits from the privatisation of public sector services, such as the NHS, and has been criticised by MPs for “lying and cheating.” [33]
  • Both Ken Sloan and Bob Hogg, in articles for Serco’s journal ‘Ethos’, have written on using Serco-style outsourcing strategies within Higher Education, claiming that they would drive down costs and improve standards. [34]
  • Ken Sloan (in a comment piece for Ethos with Bob Hogg and Aaron Porter) described students, graduates, the government and “industry” as “stakeholders” with “an interest in how institutions are performing” who “invest accordingly based on performance.” [35]
  • Bob Hogg: “In prisons, we are seeing deferred payments to providers, subject to prisoners not re-offending for a year. Could this approach be used in higher education?” [36]

 


Footnotes

[1] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33).

[2] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/humanresources/payroll/salscalescurrent/current. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[3] http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/inflation-cpi. Accessed 17/06/2013.

[4]  http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/humanresources/payroll/salscalescurrent/current. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[5] http://www.warwicksu.com/blogs/blog/annachowcat/2013/05/16/Postgraduates-who-Teach/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[6] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33); for the year ended 31 July 2008 (p. 27).

[7] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/finance/resources/accounts/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[8] http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/features/the-annual-pay-review-are-v-cs-worth-every-penny/3/2002791.article. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[9]http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/atoz/rc/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[10] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33); for the year ended 31 July 2009 (p. 28).

[11] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33); for the year ended 31 July 2010 (p. 31).

[12] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 2); for the year ended 31 July 2009 (p. 2).

[13] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33);  for the year ended 31 July 2009 (p. 30).

[14] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 35); for the year ended 31 July 2009 (p. 29).

[15] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/howgoverned/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[16] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/atoz/council/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[17] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/atoz/council/members. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[18] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/howgoverned/. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[19] http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/atoz/senate. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[20] University of Warwick, Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2012 (p. 33); for the year ended 31 July 2011 (p. 34); for the year ended 31 July 2010 (p. 32); for the year ended 31 July 2009 (p. 29); for the year ended 31 July 2008 (p. 27).

[21] Dr Wendy Piatt, http://russellgroup.ac.uk/, 09/12/2010. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[22] Greg Hurst, “Funding for poorer students should be cut to save research, elite universities say”, The Times, 21/05/2013.

[23] Rachel Willams, “Decline in bursaries will hit students”, The Guardian, 13/02/2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/feb/13/student-bursaries-tuition-fee-waivers?INTCMP=SRCH. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[24] Chris Hackett, “Warwick faces modified vision2015, says VC”, The Boar, 20/06/2009. http://theboar.org/2009/06/20/warwick-faces-modified-vision-2015-says-vc/#.Ub4pvL94Nok. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[25] http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2072&Itemid=141. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[26] ‘Student loans – A guide to terms and conditions 2013/2014’, Student Finance England.

[27] Aditya Chakrabortty,“Raise interest rates on old student loans, secret report proposes”, 13/06/2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/jun/13/raise-interest-rate-student-loans-secret-report. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[28] False Economy,“Our research in the Guardian: secret report proposes interest rates raise on old student loans”, 13/06/2013. http://falseeconomy.org.uk/blog/our-research-in-the-guardian-secret-report-proposes-interest-rates-raise-on. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Lord Browne of Madingley, ‘An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance’ (“The Browne Review”), 12/10/2010 (p. 28).

[31] http://www.serco.com/about/index.asp. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[32] Serco, Annual Reports and Accounts 2012 (p. 11).

[33] Felicity Lawrence, “Who will hold NHS contractors like Serco to account?” 23/04/2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/23/who-will-hold-nhs-contractors-to-account. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[34] http://www.ethosjournal.com/topics/education/item/388-higher-education. Accessed on 17/06/2013;

http://www.ethosjournal.com/topics/education/item/195-university-challenges. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[35] http://www.ethosjournal.com/topics/education/item/388-higher-education. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

[36] http://www.ethosjournal.com/topics/education/item/195-university-challenges. Accessed on 17/06/2013.

Advertisements

6 Responses to The PPU Report

  1. joseph barker says:

    this is amazing! good work.

  2. Pingback: Inequality and the University | Campaign for the Public University

  3. oracle1332 says:

    mad respect. this is grim.

  4. Pingback: An open letter to Nigel Thrift in support of Staff strikes, 3/12/13 | PROTECT THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY – WARWICK

  5. Pingback: An open letter to Nigel Thrift in support of staff action, 3/12/13 | PROTECT THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY – WARWICK

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s