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The impact of universities on the UK economy - 4th report

The economic importance of higher education has been widely recognised since the early 1990s, and its contribution to national and regional economic development has become an important influence on policymaking. Higher education is seen in the UK as being of key importance in the creation and transfer of knowledge to the economy through its teaching, research and other activities.

This report is an update of earlier studies looking at the impact of the higher education sector on the UK economy, and:

  • provides new evidence of the impact of universities as independent businesses
  • confirms the growing economic importance of the sector
  • demonstrates that the effectiveness of the higher education sector in generating impact is relatively high compared to other sectors of the economy
  • confirms the substantial employment effect of higher education activity
  • provides further evidence of the importance of international students to the sector and the wider economy

The report finds that through both direct and secondary effects, the higher education sector generated:

  • over £59 billion of output and over 668,500 full-time equivalent jobs throughout the UK economy in 2007–08
  • an overall contribution to GDP of £33.4 billion

Universities UK response to Home Office exit check report and ONS student migration reports

24 August 2017
The two official reports show that there is very high visa compliance by international students, with the number of students overstaying their visas a tiny fraction of previous incorrect claims
Higher education in facts and figures 2017

Latest facts, figures and trends in higher education

26 October 2017
UUK's Daniel Wake looks at some of the latest trends from this year's higher education in facts and figures publication.

Universities, place and the industrial strategy

9 October 2017
James Ransom, Policy Researcher at Universities UK, highlights the role universities play in their local areas and outlines three ways in which this role can be strengthed.