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University of Gloucestershire releases major economic impact report

The report has been produced for the University by Biggar Economics, an independent economic consultancy. Using models developed to assess the impact on their communities of a range of other Universities, the report estimates the direct and indirect ways in which the University contributes to Gloucestershire’s economy through its staff and students, business development, volunteering, and spending with local and national businesses.

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Marston said: “We are proud to be the University of, and for, Gloucestershire. This report estimates for the first time the various impacts of the University’s activities, in terms of supporting economic, social and community wellbeing for Gloucestershire.

“It tries to assess not just the University’s impact as a £70m business in our own right, but also the many indirect and multiplier effects from staff and student spending, from our procurement of goods and services, from the contribution our graduates make in the labour market, and so on. The report underlines our commitment to be a key contributor to the economic growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the county.

“The report estimates that the University’s activities and spending support almost 3000 jobs in the South West region. Our staff and students spend more than £28 million in the county and commit more than 10,000 hours of volunteering each year.

“One of the major findings of the new report is the value our students and graduates bring to businesses and public sector organisations in the region. More than 3000 students a year undertake a placement or internship which generates an estimated £4 million of impact.

“This includes teacher training for 480 students carrying out placements in local schools, with many going on to find their first teaching job in the county.

“One of the major benefits is that the University attracts new talent to the county with almost a third of our graduates choosing to start their careers in Gloucestershire. Our goal is to increase this in future years and we are looking to expand our relationships with local employers to provide them with a direct pool of talent. As the report shows, one of the major impacts of the University is through the skills, creativity and talents of our graduates, contributing to productivity in the labour market.

“Through the establishment of The Growth Hub with Gloucestershire First LEP at our Oxstalls Campus we intend to keep expanding and improving the support we offer to the business community.

“The report also looks at the social and cultural impact the University makes in the county through sponsorship and staff and student volunteering. We have strong links with the world-class festivals for which Cheltenham and Gloucestershire are renowned. The expertise and enthusiasm of our staff and students, whether used backstage or in the limelight, help to run the 45 cultural festivals that are hosted every year in Gloucestershire.

“This report provides a good benchmark against which to measure our progress as we realise our ambitious plans to grow our University and expand our links with businesses and other organisations in the county.”

Some of the key findings in the report have been published as part of ‘A University for Gloucestershire: Our Economic, Social and Cultural Contribution’, featuring case studies of staff, students, graduates and local businesses and organisations.