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Study shows universities have huge positive impact on local economy

A new study has shown that universities have a crucial role to play in supporting the local economy, generating billions of pounds every year.

The analysis was carried out by economic consultancy Hatch Regeneris for the University and College Union (UCU). The trade union says the report underlines the importance that universities can play as we begin to rebuild the economy.

The study estimates that 22,000 jobs in Manchester, 150,000 in London, 18,000 in Birmingham, 22,000 in Glasgow, 29,000 in Edinburgh and 15,000 in Cardiff are dependent – either directly or indirectly – on their universities. For at least 10 universities in the country, this makes up for 5% or more of all jobs in that local authority.

The study also found that the positive impact of universities is compounded where cities host more than one institution, as well as smaller towns and cities where the university can sometimes be the largest employer there.

The average salary at a university is also an important factor, for example in Sunderland where the salary of employees at the university is a third higher than for all jobs there.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said:

This review shows that universities are a very significant factor in many local economies. Universities are vital in providing educational opportunities, but they also have a huge impact in creating local jobs, supporting local businesses, and attracting business to the area.

These latest figures come off the back of a campaign launched by UCU recently called Fund The Future, which has called for emergency support for universities impacted by the pandemic.

The news also follows a recent YouGov poll which revealed that people really appreciate the importance of their local university on their local area’s economy.


Image: “Senate House” by DaveLevy  

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