Regional impact of universities
Our economic and social impact has been revealed after
we were the lead case study in a major report into the economic and social
impact of universities in the eastern region.
The study of eleven higher education institutions across six counties in
the east of England, found they support, enhance and encourage innovation.
We commissioned the research in partnership with the East of England
Development Agency (EEDA) and the Association of Universities in the East of
The universities covered by the report were:
- Cranfield University;
- Norwich University College of Arts;
- University of Bedfordshire;
- University of Cambridge;
- University of East Anglia;
- University of Essex;
- University of Hertfordshire
- University Campus Suffolk;
- Writtle College.
The research, by consultants PACEC, identifies particular economic and
social needs especially during a time of financial and social uncertainty,
which universities respond to.
- Approximately 27,400 students graduated from institutions in
the region annually. In 2008-09, 56 per cent were retained
in the east of England, and the research estimates they
contributed an additional £134 million to the region.
- The vast majority of businesses in the region rate young
graduates as either ‘well’ or ‘very well’ prepared for work.
- Universities act as a stimulus for regional innovation and
competitiveness. The movement of graduates into the economy
has been supplemented with a growth in knowledge exchange
activities, enabling organisations to directly access
knowledge and expertise within higher education.
- Universities play a critical role in providing knowledge and
skills to support industries, attract inward investment and
support the growth of specialist high-technology clusters.
In addition, they support the structural transformation of
industry and the creation of new industries and upgrading of
- Universities play a key role in developing a flexible and
- Universities have been quick to respond to the economic
downturn and have been actively involved in helping
businesses through the recession.
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