Vice-Chancellors should not be allowed in discussions around setting their own pay, the universities minister has said.
Sam Gyimah said he wants to see vice-Chancellors kicked off remuneration committees to prevent them having a hand in setting their own pay.
He added that FTSE 100 companies would never allow a director to sit on the firm’s remuneration committee and then claim they had left the room when their own salary is discussed.
Speaking to the Commons Education Committee on Tuesday, Mr Gyimah said: "What happened before was that vice-Chancellors sat on the remuneration committee and they would obviously recuse themselves when their own pay was being discussed.
"But even in FTSE 100 companies you can't sit on a remuneration panel and say I wasn't in the room so it's nothing to do with me.
"They should not be allowed to set their own pay and that's action on pay, the second thing is that the Office for Students (OFS) has a real focus on top pay within our universities."
University bosses attend the committees which set their own pay in 95 per cent of cases, figures have shown.
Nearly half of vice-chancellors are members of their university's remuneration bodies, according to data collected by the University and College Union (UCU), and another 47 per cent are able to attend meetings.
The new universities regulator has not made it a condition of registration that vice-Chancellors are banned from sitting on their own remuneration committees.
In its regulatory framework, it says that universities must be prepared to “publicly explain [their] approach to the remuneration of senior staff” and also explain that “remuneration decisions are transparent”.
Mr Gyimah said that the OFS will have a “laser-like" focus on the issue of vice-Chancellors' pay and “bring it under control”. His comments come amid growing concerns over spiralling salary hikes for university chiefs.