LORD ADONIS called on university bosses yesterday to take a pay cut to help reduce tuition fees.
No university vice-chancellor has shown that their institution’s arts and social studies courses justified the £9,250-a-year fee, the former education minister said in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Mr Adonis, the architect of the tuition fees introduced under Tony Blair in 2004, appeared on the programme with Southbank University vice-chancellor David Phoenix.
He argued that universities could make savings by lowering the salaries of their senior staff.
“My own view is that Southbank University — and I say this in the presence of the vice-chancellor — could offer many of these courses for about half that level,” said the peer.
“Dave is paid a salary of £295,000 for leading a public-service institution. He has 10 staff at his university who are paid over £100,000.
“All of those salaries, in my view, should be halved. That would save £1 million alone and that would be a big first step towards reducing fees.”
Mr Adonis has previously admitted that fees have become a “Frankenstein’s monster” and should be axed.
A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies revealed in July that students from the poorest backgrounds leave university with an average debt of £57,000.
University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: “Years of politicians calling for pay restraint at the top of universities has fallen on deaf ears, while at the same time student fees have soared.”
Ms Hunt called for a register of leadership pay and perks which can be scrutinised by the public.