The University of Edinburgh spends more than £17,900 on principal’s house bills

This is in addition to his salary of £342,000

The Rector of the University of Edinburgh took a total of £17,910 in maintenance bills paid by the university in the last academic year, The Edinburgh Tab can reveal.

The figure includes £5,800 spent on gas and electricity at Peter Matheson’s private residence, which was donated as a gift to the university in 2015.

Other costs Mr Matheson pays out of university funds include £1,745 for gardening and cleaning, and £300 for the AGA cooking service. This is all on top of his annual salary, which is currently £342,000.

Numbers (full below)And the Obtained through areedom of Information request, it reveals the full extent of Edinburgh Uni’s spending of £1.75 million on the Director’s Residence, which is located in central Edinburgh and is described as a “200-year-old, medium-sized four-storey stone building containingive bedrooms, four reception rooms, kitchen and garden.

The University of Edinburgh says the residence is not only used as a family home, but “as a venue for hosting official university events, and as such, theoundation covers fuel costs and building maintenance costs”.

The university did not address The Edinburgh Tab’s questions about whether the funding arrangements were fair or effective.

From 2021 to 2222, a manager’s residence used more than six times as much gas and more than five times as much as the average home in the UK, according to Numbers of Ofgem Power Regulator.

In the same year, the highest single maintenance cost associated with a property was £4,932 spent on carpentry and window sill replacement.

The total figure of £17,900 spent on the home amounts to approximately two years of tuition fees for non-UK residents of Scots studying at the University of Edinburgh.

It comes as students in Edinburgh prepare for higher energy bills this winter, due to rising inflation and an increase in wholesale energy prices, in large part due to the turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine.

Despite an emergency rental price freeze introduced in Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon, and an upcoming energy-per-unit price cap introduced by Liz Truss, a weaker pound is likely to drive up daily costs even more.

It also comes on the heels of reports in The Edinburgh Tab last week that dozens of University of Edinburgh students were sleeping in bunk beds in converted common rooms in Bullock halls.

The University of Edinburgh has not said it plans to change the way it funds the principal’s living arrangements.

School Principal Housing Bills, 2021-22:

  • Inspection and repair of noise / malfunctions in the water system – £56.16
  • council tax – 4,243.55 GBP
  • Electricity – £3198.53
  • Gas – £2,601.29
  • Aga cooking service – £300.55
  • Carpentry work, repair of window sills / replacement of sills / mastic sealant – £4932.62
  • Supply and installation of wireless detection – £563.15
  • cleaning costs – £1,080.00
  • window cleaning – £270.00
  • gardening – £665.00
  • Total – 17,910.85

Use of facilities for the manager, 2021-22:

  • Gas: 82.746.5 kWh (Average UK household use = 12,000 kWh)
  • Electricity: 16.021.0 kWh (Average UK household use = 2,900 kWh)

Speaking to The Edinburgh Tab, a spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh said:

“As with most other universities, accommodation is provided to the Director of the University of Edinburgh and his immediate family as part of the role. The Director’s Residence is not only used as a family home but also often as a venue to host formal university events, and as such, theoundation covers fuel costs and the costs of Building maintenance.

“The residence is used for official events to welcome international guests and dignitaries which enhances the university’s global reputation and increases our partnerships and potential funding flows.

Increases in the cost of living affect everyone and we want to support our students as much as possible during an increasingly challenging period. We offer one of the best UK undergraduate financial aid packages, and spend millions of pounds each year helping students who want to study in Edinburgh.

“We offer our students a range of financial support and wellbeing, and any student facing financial hardship can access our various financial support schemes.

“We also have a range of initiatives in place to help students manage the cost of living, including setting rents in our university residences, accommodating the recent rise in energy costs and setting café prices for the current academic and financial year.”

The process and context for the decision on the level of remuneration of the principal is determined over here.

Related articles recommended by this author:

Edinburgh College students living in converted common rooms due to lack of housing

• “It’s not perfect”: Meet the Edi students who live communally in Bullock’s common rooms

• We spoke to the organizers behind the TRUTH Student Club Night

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