There have been quite some controversies about the salaries of university leaders, especially those in the public sector. Philip Altbach and his colleagues from the Boston College Center for International Higher Education have now published a report comparing the salaries of academics around the world. Here are the results, summarised in one single picture:

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Conclusion? It pays of to work hard in order to get to the top, especially in South Africa, New Zealand and above all, Saudi Arabia. Not so in France and Germany (surprise?). Furthermore, an advice for academics who aspire to have an international career and want to maximise their salaries: look for extreme weather conditions. They would be best of to start their career in Canada and end up in the global classrooms in the Saudi Arabian desserts.

In addition to offering high salaries for top academics, Saudi Arabia is also actively recruiting scholars from Europe and North America. Global Higher-Ed has a post on a faculty recruitment video of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Conveying a ‘unique semi-territorialized live-work-play message’ they target a mobile “world class” faculty base to come and live, work and play in Saudi Arabia. I’m sure that an average monthly top-level salary of US$8,490 helps. But then again, there are other things that count as well…

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