Human Resources

Principal's Remuneration

Information regarding the Principal's Remuneration

The role of the Principal of the University is a very complex and broad-ranging one. The remit combines the academic credibility to inspire, lead and recruit world-class staff and students of the University, a belief in public service, and the business acumen of a Chief Executive in what is an increasingly demanding financial environment for universities.  

The role is directly accountable for leading a top-30 globally ranked institution of over 49,000 students and more than 15,600 staff, with an annual revenue of £1.12bn. The University is the third biggest employer in Edinburgh and plays a significant role in generating economic impact – £2.3 billion per annum in economic value (GVA) for Scotland and £3.5 billion per annum for the UK as a whole (2018 data).

At time of appointment the Principal’s salary was £342,000.  There is no provision for any contractual lump sum payments of any kind.  The salary was determined by the University’s Remuneration Committee which consists of experienced independent members of the University’s Court, our governing body. The Principal is not, and will not become, a member of Remuneration Committee.  The Remuneration Committee took account of analysis of relevant UK and global benchmark data for Vice-Chancellors’ pay in universities of similar size and complexity.  It was judged that this level of salary was appropriate to attract the best candidate in an internationally competitive field and that it was commensurate with the size and scale of the responsibilities of the job.