The Main building of the University with the South of Glasgow behind it
Credit: University of Glasgow

Report into Glasgow University’s economic impact released

By Albert Tait

The report finds that the University contributes £4.4 billion to the UK economy every year.

A new report by London Economics has estimated that the University of Glasgow contributes approximately £4.4 billion to the UK economy each year. The report was commissioned by the University, and is available to access online

It cites the University’s research activity as the largest contributing factor, generating around £1.8 billion (42% of the total) annually. According to the report, every £1 million invested into the research department of the University returned £6.9 million into the UK economy.

One main focus of the report is to highlight the improvement of the University’s economic impact over the last decade. It details the doubled investment into research over the last decade, and how the number of students and staff at the University has increased by approximately 30% since 2010. Even since 2014-15, there has been a 14% increase in the University’s economic impact. 

The local contribution of the University towards the Glasgow region and Western Scotland is also a focus. It highlights how, with over 8000 staff, the University is one of Glasgow’s largest employers. Also mentioned is the “major new facilities for cancer and virus research, the training of medical professionals, and the conservation of internationally recognised archives and collections”. 

The report also draws attention to the University’s international status, describing how “the impact of the University stretches across the planet”. In the last ten years, the University has more than doubled its international student population, now welcoming in students from over 140 different countries. It is estimated that this contributes approximately £630 million to the UK economy each year.

Principal and vice-chancellor of the University, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: “This report is significant in demonstrating the broader economic contribution and value of the University of Glasgow’s research, teaching and collaborations with industry in the city, Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“Universities in and of themselves are drivers of economic development. This report illustrates we are not only providing the innovative solutions and excellent research needed to tackle the challenges facing society, but we’re also key facilitators of Scotland’s economic and social recovery, productivity and inclusive growth.”

Kate Forbes, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, said: “This report lays out in great detail the tremendous economic and cultural significance of the University of Glasgow, in Glasgow itself, in the West of Scotland, nationally and indeed internationally.

“For almost 600 years the University of Glasgow has been a beacon of research and learning and its role today, in education, and its positive economic impact are as important as they ever were in helping Glasgow flourish.”


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