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University economic impact at record high

16 October 2018

University Main Building

Cardiff University is generating more money for the UK economy than at any point in the last five years, new figures have revealed.

According to a report published by London Economics – one of Europe's leading specialist economics and policy consultancies – Cardiff University now contributes £3.23 billion to the UK economy.

This equates to the generation of £6.30 for every £1 that the University spends.

The figure is the highest it has been since the University began recording its economic impact back in 2012/13 and has increased by 21% since then.

The economic impact, calculated for the 2016/17 academic year, is generated by the high calibre of teaching and learning provided to home and international students every year, the consistent delivery of world-leading research and the provision of jobs across Wales and the UK economy as a whole.

Driven by an increase in the number of full-time undergraduate students beginning a degree compared to 2014/15, the contribution of the University’s teaching and learning activities rose to £1.15 billion. This figure accounts for the enhanced taxation receipts from university graduates entering employment, as well as the enhanced earnings associated with more highly skilled and productive employees.    

The impact of Cardiff University’s research activities rose to £709 million, an increase of 7% on 2014/15 figures, which is reflective of the University’s performance in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework in which it was ranked 5th in the UK for research quality.

With more than 5,000 overseas students starting qualifications at Cardiff University in 2016/17, the total value of educational exports was estimated to be £195 million. This was driven by the tuition fee income paid by overseas students in addition to the off-campus spending of those students during their time at the University.

The report also highlighted the significant impact generated by the University’s expenditures and that of its students both within Wales and across the UK.

The report showed that in addition to the 5,875 full-time equivalent staff employed at the University – 87% of which resided within the Cardiff Capital Region – a further 4,108 jobs across the UK were supported by the University’s activities and wide-reaching supply chain.

It was estimated that around 1 in 130 jobs in Wales was dependent on Cardiff University.

The total impact of Cardiff University’s expenditure and the personal expenditures of its students was estimated to be £1.18 billion, of which £1 billion was accrued in Wales – this represents a 10% increase from 2014/15.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “The report highlights the significant role that Cardiff University plays in stimulating economic growth both at home here in Wales and across the UK.

“Our teaching, learning and research activities provide a significant boost to the UK economy and offers a substantial return on investment.

Dr Gavan Conlon, one of the co-authors of the report from London Economics, said: “This in-depth economic analysis demonstrates that Cardiff University has gone from strength to strength over recent years and continues to deliver world class teaching and research.

“Cardiff University has long played a leading role in developing and maintaining the educational and cultural environment in Cardiff and across Wales.

“This report illustrates that the impact is not limited to higher education alone, but identifies the huge positive economic and social impact the university, its staff and students have on the Welsh economy.”

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We have a significant impact on Wales and the UK as a whole, in areas including employment, research funding, and teaching and learning activities.