Multi-million pound economic contribution from University of Sussex

The University of Sussex adds £343 million a year to the economies of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, says a new independent report.

University of Sussex. Photo: Google Street Maps
University of Sussex. Photo: Google Street Maps

The report, produced by independent economic analysts Oxford Economics, was commissioned by the University to gauge its economic and social impact on the region and the wider UK economy.

For every £1 million of the £150 million the University directly contributes to UK GDP, a further £1.3 million is supported elsewhere in the UK economy, the report shows.

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The University also supports 5,180 jobs across the region and generates £74.9 million in tax revenues, enough to pay the running costs for East Sussex Fire Authority for almost two years.

Meanwhile, the University’s significant social impact, the report says, is driven by its world-leading research, highly skilled graduates and civic-minded staff, as well as a strong commitment to social mobility and business innovation.

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor at the University, said: “This report shows we are a regional economic powerhouse with a hugely important role in the social and economic success of our surrounding areas.

“Our impact is felt both directly and through a powerful, ripple-like effect that stretches across the region and covers the length and breadth of the country.”

Michael Davies is the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), Chair of Sussex Innovation, the University’s business incubator, and a member of the Greater Brighton Economic Board. He said: “Universities are so much more than places of learning.

“As this report shows, highly engaged universities such as Sussex are catalysts for economic growth and social progress on a huge scale.”

While the greatest impact is on the local and regional economies, the report says that the University’s “economic footprint” is nationwide, adding £407 million to the UK economy, supporting 6,200 jobs and generating £100 million in tax receipts.

Oxford Economics drew on data from the financial year 2015-16 for the report. It found that:

· The University of Sussex makes an important economic and social contribution to Brighton & Hove, Sussex and the wider region

· The University supports 5,180 jobs in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex – equivalent to one in every 161 jobs in the area

· It makes a substantial contribution to the economic output of the area, amounting to £343 million gross value-added contribution to GDP

· The University, its students and visitors spending in the local area generates £74.9 million in tax revenues

· While the University makes its largest contribution to the economy of Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, its economic footprint covers the length and breadth of the UK

· Its graduates enhance the skilled talent pool available to regional employers

· It attracts a great deal of research funding - £35.6 million in 2015-16 – driving widespread economic and social benefits

· By developing new and improved products and processes, the University’s research activities foster innovation

· Its subsidiary, Sussex Innovation, helps firms with new products, notable market potential and entrepreneurial ambition

· Its international alumni continue to boost the local economy

· The University has a strong commitment to widening participation of students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds

· Its staff are highly embedded in their local communities – 87 per cent live in Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex

· The University itself is also closely engaged with the local community

The Economic and Social Impact of the University of Sussex report is published on the University’s website.