The results of an independent study into the regional impact of the University of Warwick have today been announced; highlighting the significant benefit to the local economy and communities.
The headline figure shows a £520 million annual boost to the West Midlands economy, supporting 15,500 jobs across the region. This breaks down to £306 million of direct expenditure made by the university, with the remainder of the figure coming from the economic benefit created by the spending of many thousands of staff and students.
The study looked at figures for 2011/2012 and it is likely that the numbers will be even higher for this year (2013). There are further incremental benefits, such as the friends and families of students visiting the area boosting regional tourism, or the surge in investment in the region’s industry and businesses that comes with the University’s global reputation for research excellence and helping companies to innovate.
Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, Professor Nigel Thrift, said;
Our world class Business School works with companies and entrepreneurs across the West Midlands and WMG continues to strengthen its relationships with major employers in Coventry and Warwickshire – attracting the very best talent to work and study in the local area. However, it is the extraordinary wealth of people all working, studying and thinking at the University of Warwick that is our biggest contribution to the region and local communities.
Indeed, it is this support for ambitious ideas that fuels a thriving region of creativity and innovation. The University of Warwick Science Park alone has attracted 24 businesses to the region and spawned 66 companies in the last eight years.
The proposed £100 million investment being made by Jaguar Land Rover, Tata and the UK government for the development of the National Automotive Innovation Campus at the University would further showcase the region’s ambition and resurgence in advanced manufacturing to a global audience, made possible by university’s worldwide reputation and international connections.
The region also reaps the benefits of a highly skilled workforce generated by some 23,226 Warwick graduates registered as living in the West Midlands. It’s not just our graduates either; 520 of Warwick Medical School’s students worked in the region’s hospitals and GP surgeries during 2011/12 and the £400m Clinical Trials Unit, built in 2009, continues to work on raising the quality of clinical practice in the local area.
The University’s commitment to providing high quality education to the region will be furthered in 2014 with the opening of the WMG Academy for Young Engineers, taking young people from the local area and preparing them for future employment by drawing on the close working relationship with significant local and national employers; including National Grid, SCC and Ricardo.
Beyond education and training Warwick has a continued impact upon the local community, not least through Warwick Volunteers, one of the UK’s largest and most popular student volunteering schemes, which takes on some 2500 students each year to work in a wide range of community projects across Coventry and Warwickshire. Warwick Arts Centre hosts a diverse range of both world renowned performers and local acts; providing a cultural hub for the region and contributing an estimated £27.7 million to the local economy.
Independent consultants SQW undertook the study looking at the annual impact that the university has on the region between July 2011 and July 2012.