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Universities New Zealand has just released its latest university staff remuneration international comparison and the reading won’t be pleasant for Sciblogs readers who work in university departments.

The table below tells the story pretty clearly:

The table above compares the academic salaries for each country using data relating to the sample of universities and adjusting the salary data to purchasing power parity (PPP) in US dollars (USD$).

The table above compares the academic salaries for each country using data relating to the sample of universities and adjusting the salary data to purchasing power parity (PPP) in US dollars (USD$).

Universities New Zealand notes:

The latest review of university salaries and benefits published by the ACU establishes New Zealand universities as having the lowest salaries out of the four Commonwealth countries under comparison in this report. Since the ACU‟s previous survey (relating to 2006 2007 data), South Africa (who are not included as a comparable country for the purposes of this report) have risen up the rankings from 5th place in 2006 2007, to 2nd place in 2009 2010 when using purchasing power conversion rates, and consequently New Zealand has dropped from 4th place to 5th place.

The pay gap, particularly between New Zealand and Australia is considered a threat to the univerisities’ ability to retain talent:

It has been noted in previous ACU survey reports that the wide disparity between salary scales in New Zealand and Australia represents a particular risk to New Zealand, where academics can move freely to work in the much more competitive Australian sector.48 That said, the latest 2009 2010 survey noted that there has been a significant reduction in the gap between Australia and New Zealand‟s overall average salaries.49 New Zealand has seen a 23 percent increase in overall average50 salary scales between the ACU‟s 2009 — 2010 and 2006 2007 data, meanwhile the equivalent Australian salary scales have experienced only a 3 percent increase over this three year period.