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Vice-Chancellor's salary

We are committed to transparency with regard to the remuneration of senior staff, including that of the Vice-Chancellor, and publish these annually in the University’s financial statements.

The salary for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan, is £256,798 per annum.

The Vice-Chancellor’s base salary has risen in line with national pay awards since his arrival in 2012. It continues to be at the lower end of the Russell Group. A survey by the Times Higher Education showed the annual average salary of a Russell Group Vice-Chancellor was c£332,000 in 2016/17.

Cardiff University’s 2017/18 financial statements also include payment in respect of a five-year performance bonus scheme.

Salary £256,798 (2018/19)
Salary review An annual review of base pay in relation to the market
National Pay Award Yes, the same as for other staff
Bonus Vice Chancellors Reward Scheme, a long term organisational bonus scheme over 2018-2023
Pension Standard employer’s contribution of 18%
Private healthcare Yes, to the value of £1,000
Accommodation Yes
Relocation allowance £8,000 as per standard arrangements for other Professorial/Senior Staff
Car Use of a University car which is also available to University Executive Board Members
Travel expenses Class of travel and regulations as for other staff
Other benefits None
Sabbatical As for other staff
Remuneration for external responsibilities None applicable – but would be considered on a case-by-case basis and approved by Chair of Council
Start date 1 September 2012
Term Current term to 31 August 2023

This Remuneration Package has been determined according to a number of factors including, but not limited to:

  • the depth of the Vice-Chancellor’s leadership, management and academic experience within the higher education sector;
  • the breadth of leadership responsibilities for one of the UK’s largest universities consisting of 31,597 students and 5,875 FTE staff; as well as a global community of 160,000 alumni in more than 180 countries;
  • the financial responsibilities for an institution with an annual turnover of £500 million; and which contributes more than £3.23 billion to the UK economy, generating £6.30 for every £1 we spend and supports 1 in 130 jobs in Wales; and
  • the accountability for sustaining a TEF Silver-ranked educational experience for our students; and a world-leading research portfolio worth £100 million devoted to solving some of the most pressing global challenges, to the benefit of society in the UK and around the world.

Salaries for senior staff and the Vice-Chancellor are set by the Remuneration Committee - part of the University’s Council, its governing body - which comprises independent external members of Council, who possess commercial and public sector pay knowledge and expertise, whose terms of reference can be found within the University’s Ordinances.