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University’s £2.7bn boost to UK economy

14 October 2015

Aerial shot of Cardiff

New research shows that University generates £6 for every £1 it spends 

Cardiff University contributes £2.7bn annually to the UK economy, generating more than £6 for every £1 it spends, new research has estimated.

An independent report produced for the University by London Economics provides the first comprehensive analysis of the university’s total economic and social impact.

The report comes in the wake of an economic impact report produced by Viewforth Consulting Ltd earlier this year, which found the economic contribution alone of the University and its students’ expenditure during their studies amounted to almost £1bn per year.

The new report includes the economic contribution but goes much further by considering the University’s wider social impact.

It also looks at how the University brings economic benefits to large parts of Wales, not just Cardiff.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “This report looks at the full picture estimating, for the first time, our overall economic and social impact on the UK economy.

“We all know that going to university has a transformative effect on people’s lives, careers and families.

“The study illustrates that Cardiff University is also a key economic and social driver, showing that we generate more than £6 for every £1 we spend.

“The role of universities in underpinning economic growth through higher-level skills and ground-breaking research could not be clearer.”

The University’s economic contribution will be enhanced by its new £300m innovation campus.

The work carried out in these state-of-the-art facilities will boost economic and social prosperity by turning ideas into products, technologies and new businesses.

Most significantly the new report considers the benefits of learning and teaching, particularly the impact of students earning more as a result of their education and making a greater tax contribution. 

These learning and teaching benefits alone are estimated at nearly £1bn per year.

The study also takes into account the benefits of the University’s research activities, which are calculated to be more than £600m.

This includes not only grants and income generated by the University for research, but also the productivity boost – or “spillovers” - that the University’s research generates for UK private companies.

Professor Riordan added: “One of the most significant elements featured in this report is the improved job market outcomes achieved by our graduates.

“Having assessed the enhanced employment, earnings and taxation associated with gaining a Cardiff University degree, the report finds there continues to be substantial labour market benefits achieved.”

The social benefits highlighted in the report include the huge amount of voluntary work carried out by the University’s students through Student Volunteering Cardiff (SVC), a charity run by the students.

More than 1,200 volunteering opportunities were filled in 2012-13, both short and long term, with students contributing around 50,000 hours of volunteering activity working with a wide range of external partners and on projects developed by SVC.

The main findings include:

(In 2012/2013):

  • The combined economic impact of all Cardiff University’s learning and teaching, measured as enhanced graduate earnings and taxation receipts was £968m.
  • The total economic benefit associated with Cardiff University’s research activity was £609m.
  • Cardiff University’s total direct, indirect and induced institutional expenditure and students’ personal expenditure was £1bn across the UK, of which £886m (86%) is estimated to accrue in Wales.
  • The income generated from overseas students was £135m of which £12m is generated from students from the EU whilst £123m from non-EU international students.
  • The University employs 5,500 people directly but actually supports a further 5,900 jobs in addition to that
  • Cardiff University’s total economic and social impact is estimated to be £2.7bn.