Sunday Express

(including £2 for her breakfast after a meeting)

- By Jonathan Corke

THE head of England’s universiti­es regulator has returned her expenses following an outcry over the high pay of vice-chancellor­s.

Nicola Dandridge, whose role is to ensure students get value for money, repaid a number of claims – including one for a £2 breakfast – and vowed she would make no more.

Ms Dandridge has urged universiti­es to avoid awarding vicechance­llors excessive pay.

Documents show the Office for Students (OFS) chief executive, who earns £165,000 a year, reimbursed the regulator for a number of food and drink claims made before the self-enforced ban in March.

The repaid claims included £52 for a lunch meeting on January 15, a £14.50 dinner on January 16 and a £2 breakfast the following day. A £40.44 lunch meeting on February 16 was also repaid, along with a £6.20 breakfast on February 21 last year. No reason has been given for Ms Dandridge’s self-enforced ban and repayments.

An OFS spokesman said it was a “personal decision”.

Documents show it came shortly after she welcomed signs of “pay restraint” at some universiti­es, following an outcry over pay, perks and expenses of vice-chancellor­s.

At least six universiti­es paid their vicechance­llors £500,000 or more in salary, bonuses and benefits last year. In February Ms Dandridge welcomed the decision by some universiti­es to reduce the basic pay of their bosses.

She said: “It is important students and public can be assured they are receiving value for money for this funding, and restrainin­g senior excessive pay is part of this.”

She added that “where pay is out of kilter” vicechance­llors “should be prepared to answer tough questions from their staff, student bodies and the public”. Details of her repaid expenses were revealed after a Freedom of Informatio­n request by the Sunday Express.

The OFS, which was officially launched last January “to hold universiti­es to account”, responded by saying some claims, including £21 flowers for a member of staff, a £3.70 rail ticket and a £16.36 book from Amazon for its library, had been “miscoded as subsistenc­e” and had been corrected.

It added: “The chief executive decided as a matter of policy not to claim the subsistenc­e to which she is entitled, and since March 2019 has not claimed any subsistenc­e.

“As a consequenc­e, she repaid all subsistenc­e claimed prior to March 2019 as well as two claims for meals paid for her and others.”

 ?? ?? PERSONAL BAN: Nicola Dandridge
PERSONAL BAN: Nicola Dandridge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom