Today's education in the media blog looks at the benefits universities bring to the UK economy.
Universities UK report
Universities generate nearly £100bn for the UK economy while supporting more than 940,000 jobs. These are two of the key findings of a new report by Universities UK, which illustrates the positive effect of the country’s higher education establishments.
The report, released today, Monday, 16 October, also shows that universities contribute £21.5bn to the UK’s GDP, representing 1.2 per cent of the total - this is larger than a number of sizeable industries including accountancy and advertising.
We welcome the findings in the report. We are pleased that as well as providing higher education, universities are also supporting the economic growth of the UK.
A copy of the full report is available here.
Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:
England's universities have a vital role to play in generating the knowledge and skills needed to fuel our economy. They are a great national asset, but there can be no room for complacency. Our universities need to find a new gear in their engagement with business, so that we maximise the value of record levels of public investment in research and development, and embrace the greater accountability our reforms are putting in place for the quality of teaching and student outcomes.
Janet Beer the President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said:
This study highlights the huge and increasingly significant impact that universities have on the UK economy and jobs. This puts the UK's university sector above many other established sectors in terms of economic impact and regional job creation. Universities are often the largest employers in their area and, through links with businesses and in attracting students from overseas, they bring in significant investment from around the world to all the UK’s nations and regions. The knock-on impact of universities on local businesses and jobs has supported the regeneration of many deprived towns and cities. While the influence on jobs and the economy is important, universities are fundamentally about transforming students’ lives through education and skills and the production of life-changing research. They also enrich communities by giving local people the chance to take part in arts, music, and sports activities on campuses. There are few sectors in the UK that can be described as truly world-leading, so it is important that the success of higher education is not taken for granted. Universities face many challenges, including increased global competition, uncertainty over student funding and the potential impact of Brexit. This report is a timely reminder to policymakers of the increasing economic, social and cultural impact of universities on their local communities.
Today, Monday, 16 October, there has been further coverage about the funding schools are to get over the coming years. To find out more about the £1.3bn we are investing into school funding and our national funding formula, under which all schools will get more money in real terms per pupil, read our education in the media blog from the 15 September .