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Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, vice-chancellor at University of Kent, spent £26,000 on flights

A university vice-chancellor racked up a bill of more than £26,000 on business and first-class travel, according to new figures.

Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, from the University of Kent, took 92% of her flights in business and first class.

She also spent an average of £258 per night on hotels, and is given university accommodation valued at £1.15 million.

Prof Dame Julia Goodfellow
Prof Dame Julia Goodfellow

The average flight bill for university vice-chancellors was £8,560, states a report from the University and College Union (UCU).

Students now pay up to £9,000 a year to go to university and, from 2017, institutions with
high-quality teaching will be allowed to raise tuition fees in line with inflation.

The universities of Kent, Christ Church and Greenwich, who share a campus in Medway, all charge the top rate of £9,000 for undergraduate degrees.

The report from the union was released as the government begins a consultation on whether or not to exempt universities from freedom of information requests.

Michael Moran from UCU said: “The time has finally come for a frank and open discussion about pay and transparency in higher education.

“While some continue to enjoy inflation-busting pay hikes and all the trimmings of first-class flights, staff pay continues to be held down.

“It is deeply worrying that ministers are considering relaxing the one measure we have to hold universities to account when they should be forcing far greater scrutiny of how public money and student fees are spent.”

While away on university business Prof Goodfellow spent a total of £5,674 on hotel accommodation. The average spend was £2,990.

The same year she received a salary increase of 3%, taking her up to £272,000.

Prof Goodfellow at the university's Medway campus.
Prof Goodfellow at the university's Medway campus.

Her counterpart at Canterbury Christ Church University, Prof Rama Thirunamachandran, took a 10% pay cut to £241,000. The average vice-chancellor’s pay was £272,432.

A spokesman for the University of Kent said: “The University of Kent is a top 20 UK university and the vice-chancellor’s salary reflects her position as the leader of an ambitious multimillion-pound, international organisation.

“It is in line with the sector average pay for vice-chancellors and is comparable to similarly-sized public and private sector organisations.”

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