Economic impact of University rises by 11% to over £500m

  • Date

    Fri 4 Aug 17

Silberrad Student Centre

The University of Essex contributes more than £500m to the UK economy, a rise of 11% compared to the previous year, according to its latest Economic Impact Report.

The report shows the University has broken through the half a billion pound mark for economic impact for the first time as it attracted record numbers of students and turnover reached well over £200m.

The total figure combines the University’s total revenue across its three campuses and the indirect contribution to the economy through research, business collaboration and the cutting-edge courses delivered to more than 13,000 students.

University of Essex Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: "The University is a powerhouse that helps to boost productivity and drive growth through life-changing research and innovation.”

The latest report shows the economic impact of the Colchester Campus is now £478m. This includes delivering courses to more than 11,530 students, employing more than 2,000 staff and indirectly supporting over 2,000 additional jobs. The report estimates the contribution of students to the local economy – through their purchases and use of services - is £38m.


"We’re making an important contribution to the economy of the East of England and the UK and we want to take that even further in the future."
Professor Anthony Forster Vice-Chancellor

The Southend Campus, which opened 10 years ago, has an economic impact of £55m, delivering courses to more than 1,200 students, employing more than 100 staff and indirectly supporting more than 160 additional jobs. Students contribute £3.8m to the local economy.

Professor Forster said: “We’re making an important contribution to the economy of the East of England and the UK and we want to take that even further in the future. We are building new space for innovative companies which want to join our thriving business community and we’re also helping our students develop the skills businesses are seeking as they look to grow in the years ahead.”

The University has invested nearly £15m in creating world-class infrastructure at the Knowledge Gateway research and technology park on its Colchester Campus. The first phase of Parkside Office Village has already attracted more than 20 businesses and work on the next phase of Parkside will start in the autumn. Work has also started on the Innovation Centre, which will welcome more than 50 businesses.

This will allow more businesses to benefit from close links with a ‘dual intensive’ university - gold rated in this year’s Teaching Excellence Framework and ranked in the UK top 20 for research excellence. It is also in the top 10 in the UK for Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.

The new report underlines the progress the University has made since December 2015 – when it released its first report on its impact. The report is now aligned to the financial year although it still uses the framework developed by Dr Abhijit Sengupta from Essex Business School which is informed by financial modelling used by Universities UK in its reporting of economic impact.