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University generates £1.8bn for the national economy

Photo Credit: Dan Powell
The University of York generates £1.8bn for the UK economy, a new report has found. Commissioned by the University, the report by London Economics, one of Europe’s leading specialist economics and policy consultancies, analysed the social, cultural, and economic impact of the University across the academic year 2016/17.

The University’s biggest financial output was on student and institutional expenditure, at £707.2mn. £603.5mn of this expenditure was in the Yorkshire and Humber region, and supported 6325 jobs. These jobs include those of people directly employed by the University, which is one of the ten biggest employers in the city, and across the wider Yorkshire and Humber. This figure rose to 7085 jobs nationally. The University spent £191.2mn on staff costs, with students spending £146.7mn while studying at York.

Research at the University contributed £537.1mn. With the total research funding received by the University standing at £89.1mn, this meant that the University’s research generated £6 for the UK economy for every £1 that was in-vested. £53.5mn of this funding was received from public bodies, including UK Research Councils, Local Authorities, hospitals, the EU, and HEFCE (now succeeded by the Office for Students). The impact of teaching on the 2016-17 cohort generated £487.9mn, based on the “enhanced employment and earnings benefits” that a University education provides, alongside additional taxation receipts collected by the Exchequer from graduates.

The net benefit to the Exchequer of a graduate from the University, who was an English-domiciled full-time student that gained a first in their degree stands at £85 000 for men and £51 000 for women, which the report claims is a 14.6 per cent and 12.7 per cent return on investment respectively. The disparity between the figures for men and women comes after Nouse reported on the University’s gender pay gap figures in May last year, which at 19.31 per cent stands at higher than the national average.

A survey of alumni revealed the social impact of the University as well as the financial contribution it makes. 92 per cent of respondents said the University helped them meet new people and make friends; 57 per cent that attending the University raised their aspirations; 78 per cent that the University had raised their self-esteem; 76 per cent that gaining their degree had improved their quality of life.

Saul Tendler, Acting Vice-Chancellor, said: “In a challenging global economic environment, facing major societal and environmental shifts, impactful university research has never been more important. This report not only high-lights York’s global significance in research, but also the research benefits to local companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, and its contribution to new start-ups and spin-outs.”

The report also highlighted £93.1mn generated by the 1945 students in the 2016-17 cohort who were international students, of which 84 per cent came from out-side the EU. International students from outside the EU currently pay up to £18,225, double what EU  and UK students are charged for their tuition fees. The number of non-EU international students is only set to rise, as documents seen by Nouse show that the University is launching a three-year investment programme to attract students from China/Hong Kong, India, and South East Asia. This is in the wake of the University failing to reach all of its admissions targets for the current academic year, 2018/19.

On the subject of  international students, Professor Saul Tendler added: “In the current political climate, it is essential that we create export opportunities where we can. International students not only contribute significantly to enrich the cultural life of the University and our local community, but they also provide valuable sources of export income, in the form of foreign currency, which is put back into the local and national economy."

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