Universities Scotland are to be congratulated for speaking the truth in a climate of political correctness and intolerance of free speech on campus.

On 7th March 2016 the University College Union (UCU) published a report titled 'Holding Down Women’s Pay'. The report claimed that women were earning an average of £6,103 less than their male counterparts. The UCU singled out universities with “significant” pay gaps, including Aberdeen, Glasgow and St Andrews. Universities in England and Wales shouldn’t be complacent - many of these are rated very poorly in the UCU tables.

On 8th March 2016  the vice-chancellors’ group, Universities Scotland, responded that the UCU figures are “significantly overstated” and that "Pay equality is something that universities take very seriously http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/news/response-to-ucu-scotland-reports-claims-on-gender-pay-gap/ 

In general, data on the pay gap should not be taken too seriously. It does not compare pay for equivalent jobs (which would undoubtedly show  no differences) but rather compares the average salary of men and women. Women are more likely to leave academia before they reach senior positions - either for family reasons or perhaps for greener pastures in the public sector. As women are more likely to be in less senior positions, through their own choices, one might expect the pay gap to be larger than it is. (For an exploration of the reasons for the gender pay gap, see here http://www.genderequitynetwork.org.uk/stanford-economist-explains-the-gender-pay-gap ).