THE vice chancellor of the University of Bolton spent close to £9,000 on hotel accommodation last year — and forked out a similar amount on air fares.

A union report has revealed that George Holmes' hotel bill for the year was the seventh highest of all the respondents.

The university said that the money was spent while Mr Holmes was “conducting the business of the university” — a role which involves national and international travel.

The report, Transparency at the Top, by the University and College Union, includes the results of scores of freedom of information requests that aimed to reveal the salaries of university bosses as well as the amount of money claimed on business expenses.

Mr Holmes’ hotel bill while on university business in 2013/14 was £8,917 — while the cost of his flights came in at £8,803.

The UCU approached 155 educational establishments, receiving a mixture of full, partial and negative responses.

The University of Bolton refused to provide a copy of the minutes from its most recent remuneration committee — of which the vice chancellor is a member.

The UCU have also claimed that Mr Holmes received a 0.5 per cent pay rise in 2013/14 compared with the previous year — which it said took his salary to £229,400.

But a spokesman for the University of Bolton described the statement as “misleading and inaccurate”, explaining that the figure quoted includes other factors, and any rise is due to an increase in the rate of pension contributions required by the teachers’ pension scheme, which is applicable to all university staff.

He said the vice chancellor’s salary had actually decreased, adding: “The university’s financial statements 2013-14 are publicly available on our website and state that the actual salary of the vice chancellor in 2012-13 was £199,000 and in 2013-14 was £198,200.”

The report also made reference to a £960,000 low-interest bridging loan received from the university to help fund his move to the borough.

The spokesman added: “The bridging loan facility to be made available to the vice chancellor for a fixed and invariable period of two years is at an interest rate of 3.25 per cent per annum, this being the HMRC’s official rate for 2014/15 onwards.

“The vice chancellor has not been provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan facility.”

The university also confirmed that Mr Holmes received no reimbursement of personal expenses during this period.