University of Essex contributes more than £500m to UK economy, study finds

University of Essex - Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall on the left, at the Colchester campus, with the Albert

University of Essex - Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall on the left, at the Colchester campus, with the Albert Sloman Library to the right and the Towers in the background. - Credit: Archant

The University of Essex contributes more than half a billion pounds to the UK economy, according to a study.

The University of Essex. Picture: ARCHANT

The University of Essex. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Its latest Economic Impact report showed an 11% rise in its impact compared to the previous year after it attracted record numbers of students and its 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 courses delivered to more than 13,000 students.

Vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster described the university as a “powerhouse” which was helping to boost productivity and drive growth through research and innovation.

The 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. It estimates the contribution of students to the local economy through their purchases and use of services is £38m.

University of Essex vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster.

University of Essex vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster. - Credit: Contributed

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. Its 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.”

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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 its Innovation Centre, which will welcome more than 50 businesses.

The report, aligned to the financial year, uses the framework developed by Dr Abhijit Sengupta from Essex Business School.