THE Vice-Chancellor of the University of York has claimed almost £135,000 in expenses in the last three years.

Figures received after a Freedom Of Information request by a student at the university, showed that the Vice-Chancellor’s office had spent £69,842 on air travel and £22,756 on hotels and other expenses between August 2006 and July last year.

Another £42,259 was spent on rail and motor transport, making a total of £134,857 in three years.

Daniel Goddard is an economics student and news editor of the York Vision campus newspaper and requested the information for an article.

Mr Goddard, 20, said: “Over the last year and before that, the university has continued to cut student services. Portering and cleaning budgets have been slashed while student hall rents continue to rise over and above the rate of inflation.

“Students were consistently told that financial times were tough and that cuts had to be made. I was interested to see whether the vice-chancellor was applying the same cuts to his expenses. The numbers were a lot higher than I expected.”

Professor Brian Cantor has been vice-chancellor at the university since 2002, a role which involves national and international travel to promote the university.

A university spokesman confirmed the figures were accurate, but legitimate and necessary to uphold the impressive international reputation of the university.

“These figures, covering a three-year period, relate to the costs of the vice-chancellor’s activities in promoting the University in the UK and abroad. They are not pay, and must be viewed in the context of the vice-chancellor leading an organisation with a £225 million income, educating 12,000 students and employing 3,000 staff with all the demands that entails,” said the spokesman.

“York is ranked 70th out of a total of 30,000 universities in the world. That reputation brings significant benefits both to our students and to the national and regional economy. Regular international travel is an essential part of maintaining and developing that global standing, and the vice-chancellor’s drive to establish and nurture international partnerships has played a significant role in achieving it.”

The spokesman also stated the expenses were approved by the university’s treasurer, and all staff were aware of the need to be prudent with their expenditure.