25.8% = 12.1% = 4.8%.. if you’re the Sunday Independent

So today the Super Soaraway Sindo has a breathess shock horror piece about academic salaries. The headline is  “25% of university academics earn more than 100k”

Lets see.

The numbers appear to refer to the sector as a whole. 1093 people earn more than 100k. But the sector as a whole has (as from p 41) 22648 persons, of whom 9056 are academic.

So, 1093 / 4229 = 25.8% but 1093 / 9056 = 12.1% and indeed 1093 / 22638 = 4.8%

Which makes a better headline? Why would the Sindo mislead?

Its also notable that the same SuperSindo has not deigned to comment one way or another on the recent reports on the impact of the Higher Education sector. Now, im sure that that was an oversight. I mean, they wouldnt have an agenda or anything would they?

Screenshot 2014-11-23 09.23.52


3 thoughts on “25.8% = 12.1% = 4.8%.. if you’re the Sunday Independent

  1. Ernie Ball

    I tried posting a refutation on the Sindo website. Needless to say, they won’t post it. What are they afraid of? That someone in Ireland might figure out what they’re about? Here it is (but it’s really just a summary of your points here):

    The headline is a lie, as is the article itself. The 1,093 making more than €100,000 per annum are taken from the entirety of third-level, including institutes of technology, teaching colleges, etc. What’s more, a good percentage of that 1,093 are not academics at all: they are senior administrators, etc. But the 4,327 number is the number of academic staff at UNIVERSITIES ONLY, not all of third level. So in order to get the 25% figure of the headline, they’ve taken a numerator from all of third level and a denominator of only universities. That’s just fundamentally dishonest. The correct figure is 1,093 out of 22,648, which is the overall number of third-level staff. In other words, less than 5%. And it would be incorrect to claim, even when armed with the correct figure, that 5% of “academics” make more than €100,000, since a great many of those making these salaries are not academics at all, but administrators.

    But all of this assumes that the point of this article was to be informative rather than to inflame public sentiment against academics by means of dishonest statistics. Using this latter standard, which is the one by which the Sindo measures itself, this article is a great success.

  2. nh

    Can I ask one simple question given the media hysteria about a €100k salary. you probably receive €5k per month? Can someone tell me if you are a couple where one person is earning €100k. the other is looking after 2 children. Take off rent of €1500 per month to live in a 3 or 4 bedroom home within 45 minute of dublin? is that fair? Now take off food, travel, petrol, utilities etc given the tax rate because you are super wealthy and live in a masion!…what are you left with in disposable income at the end of the month. How does that compare with all the benefits, welfare etc of being a family that is not working. I’d love to know the differential as an exercise. i don’t hear of people being flush with cash that are higher earners. the populist commentary i increasinly see is not based on fact or analysis its based on media and winning votes. and it will lead to actions that erode the economy and leave us in some socialist, french style economy that is overburdened and smothered by a growing public sector that continues to try to feed off corporate, “wealthy”, pensions etc all items that won’t cost votes but ultimately will not create what is needed growth, jobs etc.

  3. Mike Jennings

    The Sindo contacted me in advance and I gave them loads of information which would have balanced this article. For some strange reason nothing of anything I said was used.
    Now why would that be?!
    Mike Jennings IFUT


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