mark_goodwin

As a vibrant knowledge hub, the University plays an important role locally and globally. It is a large employer and economic contributor in Devon and Cornwall, and helps to support local growth and build on the region’s strengths and potential. The University is not only a world leader in terms of its world-class teaching and research, but it also has a major impact on the local, regional and national economy.

Professor Mark Goodwin, Deputy Vice Chancellor for External Engagement

The Economic Impact of the University of Exeter

An Economic Impact report, commissioned by the University of Exeter and undertaken by Viewforth Consulting, was undertaken in Summer 2017. The report gives a breakdown of the economic impact generated by the University in the academic and financial year 2015/16 (the latest year for which data was available) across a number of geographic regions and sub-regions.

Overall impact of the University by location

The University has campuses in both Devon and Cornwall, in Exeter, Penryn and Truro. The study included detailed modelled analysis of the distribution of university impact across the two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS) covering Devon and Cornwall: the Heart of the South West LEP and the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP, as well as impact on the rest of the South West and on the UK as a whole.

The University of Exeter generated £1,172.1 million in output and supported 11,430 FTE jobs in 2015/16. 

This was made up of:

  • £371.5m and 3,895 FTE jobs supported directly through its output (turnover)
  • £481.1m and 4,785 FTE jobs though secondary or ‘knock on’ effects in its supply chain and the expenditure of staff;
  • £314m and 2,700 FTE jobs through the personal expenditure of students; and
  • £5.6m and 47 FTE jobs from the spending of international visitors.

It made an overall contribution to UK Gross Value Added of £631.9m.

The University is an important source of export revenue earned through the fees charged to international students, research funding from international sources and other services such as residence and catering to overseas students and visitors. The University earned almost £93m from international sources during 2015/16 1. It is also stimulated a further £69.9m in the off-campus spending of international students and their visiting friends and family. In total, therefore, the university was responsible for £163m of export earnings in 2015/6.

When downstream effects are taken into account, international students and their visitors 2 generated £267,4m in output, supported 2,542 FTE jobs and contributed £140.8m to UK GVA.  Students from elsewhere in the EU account for a fifth of output and jobs with each student supporting £39,707 of output and 0.37 FTE jobs 3. Students from outside the EU have greater impact, generating £50,831 in output and supporting 0.49 FTE jobs each.

The model suggests that every:

  • £1m of the University’s own output generates £1.29 million elsewhere in the UK and supports 23.4 FTE jobs.
  • FTE job inside the university as a whole, the university generates an additional 1.23 FTE in the UK
  • £1m of the University’s own GVA generates an additional £0.95m in the UK.

In addition, the University’s planned capital investment of £429 million is expected to generate a further £695m in output throughout the UK over the 10 year duration of the programme.  During this time, 7,149 ‘person years’ in employment would be supported and GVA of £351.5m generated. 

1 This does not include consultancy and other services delivered to international clients
2 This includes the impact of tuition fees and other payments and off-campus personal expenditure.
3 These figures relate to student spending only and does not include that of their visitors.

The university generated £540.1m in output within the local authority district of Exeter.  The institution makes a significant contribution to the local economy, supporting 8% of GVA (£320.5m) 1 and 7% of employment (5,346 FTE jobs).  This overall impact comprises:

  • £345.6 million in output, 3,490 FTE jobs and £227.2m in GVA 2 attributed directly to the activities of the institution;
  • £111.5m in output and 1136 FTE jobs created through secondary or ‘knock on effects’;
  • £83m in output and 720 FTE jobs generated by the personal expenditure of students and their visiting family and friends.

International students and their visitors generated £113.5m in output, supported 1,111 FTE jobs and contributed £66.2m (1.6% of the total) to Exeter’s GVA through tuition fees, charges for residence and catering and their off campus expenditure.  While most of this economic impact is derived from students from outside the EU, EU students support £21.3m in output, 207 FTE jobs and contribute £12.3 to local GVA.   

The multipliers created by the model suggest that in Exeter:

  • Every £1m of the University’s own output generates an additional £0.23m in output and 13.6 FTE jobs 3;
  • For every FTE inside the university as a whole, the university generates an additional 0.23 FTE;
  • Every £1m of GVA in Exeter generates an additional £0.17m in GVA;
  • Each EU student supports 0.16 of a FTE job and generates £16,100 in local output.  Every students from outside the EU supports 0.22 FTE jobs and stimulates £22,066 in local output.

Around 46% of the university’s output, 47% of its employment and 51% of its GVA contribution is generated within Exeter.

Similarly, more than half of the output likely to be stimulated from the University’s capital investment programme will be generated within Exeter itself 4, supporting 1,627 person years in employment and £81.3 million in GVA.

1 Calculated using ONS estimate of GVA for the local authority district of Exeter of £4,085m in 2015. Source: Office for National Statistics
2 Equivalent to 6% of local GVA.
3 Including 1.5 within the University itself.
4 Exeter is expected to benefit from £589 in output over the 10 year period.

The University of Exeter generated £661.7m in output in Devon with its activities supporting 6,505 FTE jobs 1 and making a contribution to local GVA of £378.3m (equivalent to nearly 1.6% of Devon GVA).  In more detail, this impact comprises:

  • £345.6m in output and 3,490 FTE jobs directly from the activities of the institution;
  • £181m in output and 1,844 FTE jobs attributed to the downstream effects of the University’s expenditure on suppliers and staff;
  • £135.1m in output and 1,161 FTE jobs linked to spending of students and their international visitors.  Of this,£41.1m in output and 356 FTE jobs were supported by international students and their visitors.

International students and their visitors generated £141.9m in output, supported 1,378 FTE jobs and contributed £79.7m to Devon’s GVA through tuition fees, charges for residence and catering and off campus expenditure.  Students from elsewhere in the EU support 261 FTE jobs in Devon and generate £27.1m in output. Similarly, students from outside the EU supports £112.6m in output and 1,098 FTE jobs.

The multipliers are such that within Devon:

  • Every £1m of the University’s own output generates an addition £0.42m in output and 15.5 FTE jobs 2
  • For every FTE inside the university as a whole, the university generates an additional 0.41 FTE
  • Every £1m of GVA in Exeter generates an additional £0.31m in GVA.
  • Every EU student (outside the UK) supports 0.2 FTE jobs and £20,488 in output.
  • Every non-EU student support 0.27 FTE jobs and £27,362 in output.

Fifty-six per cent of the university’s output, 57% of its employment and 60% of GVA is generated within Devon.

The University of Exeter’s investment programme is predicted to stimulate £692.3m in output within Devon, support 2,677 person years in employment and contribute £133.8 in GVA over the 10 year period.

* Including Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay.
1 1.7% of employment in Devon is dependent on the University’s activities.
2 Of which 10.5 will be in the University itself

The University of Exeter supported £73.4m in output and 853 FTE jobs 1 across Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly 2. The institution made an overall contribution to GVA of £42.6m – equivalent to almost half a percent of the LEP area’s total GVA.  Again, broken down by type of impact:

  • The University generated £26m in output and 405 FTE jobs through its direct activity;
  • A further, £24.8m in output and 252 FTE jobs were supported through the ‘downstream’ effects of supplier and staff expenditure;
  • £22.6m in output and 196 FTE jobs were supported by the personal expenditure of students and their visiting family and friends.   Of this, £4.6m in output and 40 FTE jobs were generated from the personal spending of international students and their visitors

International students and their visitors generated £14.3m in output, supported 166 FTE jobs and contributed £8.3m to Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly GVA through tuition fees, charges for residence and catering and off campus expenditure.  Students from elsewhere in the EU supported 31 FTE jobs and generated £2.8m in output.   Similarly, students from outside the EU supported 133 jobs and £11.3m in output.

The multipliers are such that:

  • Every £1m of the University’s own output generates an addition £0.07m in output and 0.7 FTE jobs in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly
  • For every FTE inside the university as a whole, the university generates an additional 0.06 FTE in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly;
  • Every £1m of the university’s own GVA generates an additional £0.05m of GVA within the LEP area;
  • Every EU student (outside the UK) supports 0.02 FTE jobs and £2,092 of output within Cornwall.
  • Every student from outside the EU supports 0.03 FTE jobs and £2,754 out output within Cornwall.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly accounts for 6% of output associated with the University, 7% of employment and 7% of GVA.

The University of Exeter’s investment programme is predicted to stimulate £42.6m in output within Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, support 433 person years in employment and contribute £21.6 in GVA over the 10 year period.

1 This includes the 405 FTE jobs on its own campuses.  The University accounts for just over 0.5% of all employment in Cornwall.
2 As with other estimates, these include the impact associated with students at Exeter, Penryn and Truro.

The institution supported £708.4m of output and 6,952 FTE jobs in the Heart of the South West LEP area in 2015/16, making an overall contribution to local GVA of £401.2m. On this basis, the institution contributes 1.2% of the LEP area’s total GVA with 0.7% attributed directly to the turnover of the institution. Within these overall figures the following specific impacts can be isolated:

  • £345.6m in output and 3,490 FTE jobs created from the direct activity of the institution
  • £209.4 in output and 2,133 FTE jobs supported from secondary or ‘knock on’ effects; and
  • £153.4m in output and 1,329 FTE jobs supported by the personal expenditure of students and their visiting family and friends. International students and their visitor contributed £46.4 in output and 402 FTE jobs.

International students and their visitors generated £152.7m in output, supported 1,479 FTE jobs and contributed £84.9m to Heart of the South West GVA through tuition fees, charges for residence and catering and off campus expenditure.  Students from elsewhere in the EU supported 281 FTE jobs and generated £29.3m in output. Students from outside the EU supported 1,177 FTE jobs and £120.9m in output.

The multiplier effects are such that:

  • Every £1m of the University’s own output generates an additional £0.56m and 16.3 FTE jobs 1 across the Heart of the South West LEP area
  • Every FTE job inside the University as a whole, the University generates an additional 0.55 FTE within the LEP area
  • Every £1m of the University’s own GVA generates an additional 0.41 across the LEP area;
  • Every EU student (outside the UK) supports 0.22 FTE jobs and £22,130 in output;
  • Every non-EU student supports 0.29 FTE jobs and £29,375 in output, within the LEP area.

The Heart of the South West accounts for 60% of output associated with the university, 61% of employment and 63% of GVA.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of the output (£734.5m) expected to be generated by the University’s capital investment programme will be generated within the Heart of the South West LEP area.  In addition, the investment is expected to secure 3,106 person years in employment and £155.2m in GVA over the ten year period to 2026.

1 Including 10.5 jobs created within the University itself.

Case study

Steve Screech, general manager of Apple Central Taxis, says the university has a “massive impact” on the business.

“In term time, work from the university makes up about 30% of our business. Outside term time it’s more like 10%, which is still an important impact. Our busiest time of the year is graduation, when we might have 24,000 jobs in a week – compared to more like 19,000 or 20,000 on average. We have a great relationship with the university, and the business we get from students and staff has really helped our business grow.”

Case study

Hannah Overton, marketing manager at Princesshay shopping centre, said: “Students make up a significant segment of our shoppers – about 7 to 11%, depending on whether it’s term time or not.

“They are a real focus for us because they tend to live close and visit quite often, so we make sure we have brands that appeal to them.

We also run an event called Strictly Students every October, with late opening and discounts, and 3,500 to 4,000 students attend.”