University brings £3.5 billion boost to the UK economy

The University of Birmingham contributes £3.5 billion to the UK economy every year – enough to build seven flagship hospitals or 140 new secondary schools, new figures show.

A report published today following research carried out by London Economics reveals that the country’s first civic university now supports 15,545 jobs in the West Midlands - almost one in 50 jobs in Birmingham. On a like-for-like basis the University’s economic impact has grown by 59% in the last 10 years.

The report, which measured the economic impact of the University on the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands region during the 2014/15 academic year, was launched at the University’s Annual Meeting on 9th March 2017.

London Economics placed the value of the University’s international undergraduate students at more than £160 million in 2014/15. The University’s teaching contributes £1.34 billion to the UK economy, while its research and knowledge transfer activity is worth £885 million, with every £1 million of investment from UK Research Councils generating an additional £12 million to the economy.

Speaking at the University Annual Meeting, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: “The £3.5 billion figure clearly demonstrates that the University of Birmingham is not only a major economic force in the region, but also nationally and internationally.

“We are building talent and skills in the region. Almost one in 50 jobs in Birmingham depend on the University. While 24% of our students come from the West Midlands, twice as many stay in the region after graduation. Each year 1,700 doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals and leaders complete one of our programmes. “The University of Birmingham also plays a significant part in attracting international visitors to the region. Our international students alone contribute more than £160 million to the economy. We are extremely committed to the region and this report demonstrates the many economic, social and cultural contributions that the University makes to the Midlands region.”

A copy of Our Impact: The Economic, Social and Cultural Impact of the University of Birmingham is available here. Highlights of the report include:

  • The University generates £3.5bn every year to the economy, which equates to the cost of building seven flagship hospitals or 140 state-of-the-art secondary schools
  • Almost one in 50 jobs in Birmingham depend on the University. With 7,200 staff in the 2014-15 academic year, it is one of the most significant employers in the region and supports 15,545 jobs in the West Midlands region
  • The University has 34,160 students, more than 100,000 online learners and 300,000 alumni across the globe
  • Eight additional undergraduate international students would bring a further £1 million to the UK economy during their three years at Birmingham
  • More than 22,000 pupils participate in the University’s schools outreach activity each year. 80% of its student are from state schools and 23% from lower socio-economic backgrounds
  • More than 262,000 people attended public events at the University in 2014-15 and more than 6,000 students volunteered their time
  • In 2014-15 the University supports its students and graduates to start more than 50 new businesses
  • Almost 1,700 people who completed a programme with the University in 2014-15 now work in the healthcare sector
  • The University’s research and knowledge transfer activity is worth £885 million. Every £1 million invested by UK Research Councils generates an additional £12 million for the economy.

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For more information, please call Deborah Walker, Head of Communications, on +44 (0) 121 414 6681 or email. Out of Hours please call +44 (0) 7789 921165 or email the Press Office.