THE University of Bolton has been named in Giving Universities a Bad Name ­— which found universities with the lowest graduate earnings issue the highest number of unconditional offers and have awarded their vice-chancellors the largest average pay rises.

The University of Bolton hit back at the report stating vice chancellor’s pay is not necessarily about graduate earnings ­— but reflects the institution as a whole.

It added student satisfaction and teaching quality is high.

Think tank Onward listed the University of Bolton as among the higher education institutions offering high numbers of unconditional offers.

Nearly 76 per cent of offers made to students by the local university were unconditional, with figures showing the median earnings ­— the mid range salary ­— of a male after after five years of graduating stood at £20,098 and for women that figure was £16,578.

Vice-Chancellor George Holmes earns £256,284, an increase of 36.98 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

Onward stated: “The growth in vice-chancellor pay in recent years is well-rehearsed and often criticised. However, less discussed is the relationship between vice-chancellor pay and the graduate earnings they deliver. There is a good argument to be made that, if a vice-chancellor is increasing the long-term earnings value of their degrees to their students – the ultimate customer – a higher salary would be justified.

“Unfortunately, our analysis suggests that the opposite is true. There is a negative correlation between rises in vice-chancellor pay and graduate earnings, suggesting that some vice-chancellors are being generously rewarded despite failing to deliver decent earnings for graduates, or the taxpayers that ultimately fund their study.”

It adds: “Onward’s analysis also reveals that the use of unconditional offers is strongly correlated with lower graduate earnings.”

The report goes on that “a considerable number of current graduates would have been economically better off studying for an apprenticeship or a technical course that typically deliver higher earnings than some degrees, without the cost of a student loan”.

The University of Bolton hit back at the report and said that Vice-Chancellor’s pay is not necessarily about graduate earning, but reflects the institution as a whole. It added student satisfaction and teaching quality has been marked as high.

A University of Bolton spokesman said: “The selected statistics being used to measure educational institutions’ effectiveness are hardly representative of an organisation as complex as a university.

“Vice-Chancellor’s pay is calculated based on a complex series of metrics.

“That equation is not just, or even, about average graduate earnings, which naturally vary wildly depending on what part of the country you are working in, nor should the pay have any relation to the number of unconditional offers made by an institution in a competitive marketplace.

“The growth rate of the institution is a major consideration in the equation for the remuneration of its leader along with many other factors that need to be taken into account, such as student satisfaction and investment in the learning infrastructure.

“The University of Bolton recently acquired Bolton College, which has meant a significant increase in staff and student numbers, over which the VC now has control.

“The University of Bolton is number one in Greater Manchester for student satisfaction and in the top five in the North West of England, which we are incredibly proud of. Student satisfaction with our teaching is in the top 10 in the UK according to the last National Student Survey. We are also TEF Silver, an important Government metric of success.

“In terms of unconditional offers the University of Bolton made an independent decision as long ago as last summer to discontinue them, for most circumstances. Our prime focus has always been and continues to be the people we teach and their satisfaction with that.”