The publication of a new economic impact assessment has revealed that the University of Southampton contributes £1.3 billion a year to the Hampshire economy and £0.9 billion to the City of Southampton specifically.
The assessment, which has been conducted by independent economics consultancy BIGGAR Economics, uses information from the 2015-16 financial year.
It considers the impact of the University across three areas: the City of Southampton itself, the regional Hampshire economy (as defined by the geographic areas which make up the Solent and Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnerships), and the UK as a whole.
In addition to the direct economic impact of the University, the study also highlights the wider economic influence that the University promotes through partnerships and supply chains. The report found that, while there are approximately 6,000 staff directly employed by the University, it also supports the employment of over 14,000 workers across the city.
The University’s impact was analysed through its Gross Value Added (GVA), which measures the value an organisation contributes to the economy through its operations.
During the 2015/16 financial year, this value was found to be:
- £0.9bn GVA and 14,000 jobs in the City of Southampton
- £1.3bn GVA and 19,800 jobs in the Hampshire region
- £2.5bn GVA and 32,900 jobs across the UK
After the NHS, the University is Southampton’s second largest employer. It contributes to the local and national economy in a variety of different areas. These include the purchasing of goods, services and investment in building residences and teaching facilities in addition to its own education, research and employment.
The study also noted the social impact of the University in the areas of health and employment, on both a national and regional level. The national and international benefits of research conducted in the University’s Faculty of Medicine, and the role of the University’s marine and maritime pedigree in boosting growth and attracting new businesses and expertise to the Southampton area were highlighted specifically.
The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, explained:
The University of Southampton’s impact reaches beyond the staff we employ and the talented students we educate. Through our education, research and enterprise activities, we also contribute to improvements in health and quality of life for people in the region, as well as more widely nationally and internationally.
Locally, our students buy goods and services and contribute significantly to the city’s life through volunteering and part-time employment. We also support the city’s cultural offering. Our internationally acclaimed John Hansard Gallery has recently relocated to an impressive new venue at the city centre arts complex Studio 144, and Highfield Campus hosts our celebrated Turner Sims concert hall and the Nuffield Theatre.
The University’s economic impact was also recently acknowledged alongside both the University of Portsmouth and Southampton Solent in a report published by the Solent local enterprise partnership.