Strathclyde University has been accused of "unbelievable" spending at the taxpayer's expense after shelling out £339,000 to transform a £1.2m townhouse used by the principal.

The university, which bought the luxury property in pristine condition, splurged nearly £4,000 on a wardrobe, £1,180 on a chair, £825 for one drawer and £3400 on sofas.

Despite a squeeze on higher education spending, the University also doled out £99.95 on a state-of-the-art toaster.

Strathclyde bosses were criticised last year for purchasing a five-floor property in Glasgow's Park Circus for the use of Sir Jim McDonald, the highest paid principal north of the border.

The transaction was pushed through in December 2013 even though McDonald had access to another grace-and-favour residence in a different part of the city.

According to the floor plan, the ground floor boasted twin Corinthian pillars, a marble fireplace and a "broad sweeping staircase".

The mansion also included four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining room, drawing room, "show" room, workshop, study, two sitting rooms and three offices.

The previous owners had spent tens of thousands of pounds on an upgrade, such as installing cabling for home cinema, but University decision-makers had their own plans.

Since January last year, Strathclyde has spent around £142,000 on "refurbishment", £35,482 on "mechanical works", £45,000 on "electrical works" £5,700 on survey drawings and £6,654 on a new gas supply.

Nearly £1,800 was spent on plants and planters, around £1,500 on mirrors, £1,180 on a solitary chair, £825 on a drawer, and £699 on a drawer chest.

Mattresses added another £3,150 to the bill, while AV/IT equipment cost another £2,791.

The University also spent £3,897 on one wardrobe, over £3400 on two sofas, £1,804 on roller blinds and £6,719 on curtains.

Around £1,498 was spent on tables, £260 on cushions, and £595 on two consoles.

The University also spared no expense when it came to home comforts.

According to the spending breakdown, released by the University, £79.95 was shelled out on a kettle, £29 on oven gloves, £14.95 on a hair-dryer, £39.95 for an iron and £14 for a roaster.

This was on top of £24 for bathroom mats, £8.99 for a can opener, £18 for a salt and pepper mill, £21.50 for a wok, £8 for a sieve, and £8.18 on a toilet roll holder.

Despite Argos selling toasters for £18.99, the University splashed out £99.95 to get one of the best products on the market.

All told, the home improvement bill came to £339,799.74.

In January, it was reported that McDonald had received a 7% pay rise, which took his remuneration package to around £334,000 a year.

Mary Senior, the Scotland Official at the University and College Union, said: "Hardworking staff at Strathclyde University - especially those who are losing their jobs this summer - will no doubt be appalled to see that their employer fitted out a luxury home for the principal.

"Sadly this type of expense detracts from the vital teaching and research universities deliver, but it underlines the need for greater scrutiny in how they are run. We want to see elected chairs of governing bodies and a seat at the top table for trade unions and students to have a say in how pubic money is spent".

Zara Kitson, Scottish Green MP candidate for Glasgow North-east, said: "This is so unbelievable it seems like a cruel joke. Staff and students at the university will be rightly outraged - as they see educational resources and salaries squeezed, management continue to splash out on luxury items - the wardrobe alone cost the same amount as a whole year's rent for a student living in the east of the city."

Gordon Maloney, president of NUS Scotland, said: "Stories like this do nothing to dispel the notion that there's one rule for university bosses and another for everyone else. In total, the university will have spent well over £1.5m on a grace and favour house, with absolutely no benefit for staff and students in return.

"It beggars belief that the university would press ahead with these plans, and these costs, when the money could have been put to far better use for the people that matter most - staff and students. Lavish spending on projects like these comes across as nothing more than unnecessary and out of touch."

A University spokesman said: "The University purchased the property in Park Circus to replace an existing property at Jordanhill. The property will be used for corporate events and business engagements.

"The property also has living accommodation for the Principal, to be used when professional commitments require. The purchase will enhance the University's property portfolio and be a long term investment for Strathclyde."