Are we over-paid?
One of the questions to have been raised in recent public debate about the Irish higher education system has been whether Irish academics are paid too generously. It is pointed out occasionally that academic pay in Ireland is on average much higher than that elsewhere. Broadly speaking, pay in Irish universities (for those in full-time permanent jobs) is in a range from €42,000 for a junior lecturer at the start of their career to a maximum of perhaps €145,000 for a full professor. In the United Kingdom the range is from about €37,000 to a maximum of €82,000 (though in fact some professors are able to negotiate rather higher pay), in the United States €58,000 to €98,000, and Germany €25,000 to €35,000.
There is no doubt that this looks generous, though one might add that many of the students taught by these lecturers and professors will not take long, after graduation, to earn even more in other professions, with lower qualifications. However, it is a question that we must be willing to address, and we must be able to demonstrate that the pay scales provide good value. Of course, this country has the ambition to be a knowledge economy, and it could be argued that universities need to provide attractive employment for those with the greatest talents and the best qualifications.
To date we have not been good at marshalling the points and providing persuasive arguments. So what should we be saying? Or are we really all just over-paid? And I am not even mentioning the pay of presidents…Explore posts in the same categories: higher education, university comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.