DISRUPTION is being anticipated at university campuses across Hampshire today as lecturers stage a walkout in an ongoing row over pay.

UCU members will be walking out in the first of three two-hour stoppages being held over the next few weeks.

This latest action follows two days of strikes last year and has escalated following the disclosure of how much university bosses are being paid while staff were being offered a 1 per cent rise.

University of Southampton vice-chancellor Don Nutbeam recently received a 6 per cent rise, taking his pay up to £294,000, while Winchester University’s vice-chancellor Joy Carter received a 12.6 per cent rise, amounting to a £28,000 increase.

Dr Eric Silverman, Southampton UCU president, said: “The current situation at the University of Southampton beggars belief. The vice-chancellor is one of the best-paid university bosses in the UK, yet he says he won’t support a pay rise for staff.

“Our salary bill has been bloated by the hiring of yet more high-level managers, while staff who actually do the lecturing, research and administrative work that supports and enables students are expected to take another pay cut.”

A University of Southampton spokesperson said: “The vice-chancellor was paid £294,000 in 2012/13 which is in line with other Russell Group vice-chancellors and verified through thorough benchmarking. His base pay has increased once since his appointment to the role in 2008.

“The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with over 23,000 students and 5,000 members of staff. It is appropriate that the vice-chancellor of such a large, complex, international institution should be competitively remunerated.”

The university will remain open during the strike between 11am and 1pm.