As university heads gather at Leicester, new calculations show how the university boosts regional economy by £729 million

Posted by pt91 at Sep 10, 2013 01:55 PM |
Figures revealed as university leaders gather for the Universities UK annual conference on Tuesday 10 September at University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 10 September 2013

The annual economic benefit of the University of Leicester on its city and the region adds up to £729 million, new calculations have shown.

A £279 million yearly turnover at the University is amplified to be worth £668 million to the local and regional economy, while international students add another £61 million.

The University directly employs nearly 3,500 staff - among whom over 1200 are highly skilled researchers - and it indirectly supports a further 4,351 jobs.

The figures are revealed as the leaders of universities from across the UK gather at Leicester’s campus for the Universities UK annual conference, from today (Tuesday 10 September) until Thursday this week.

Further research shows that the 23,000 students studying at the University of Leicester spend an average of £144.10 a week on rent, groceries, clothes and transport, benefiting the local economy even before tuition fees are taken in to account.

Six months after graduation, a quarter of the University’s students are still living in the city, strengthening the local workforce with their higher level skills and talents.

Further investment in the University campus and buildings, in the form of a £1 billion capital programme over 20 years, is ongoing and providing additional employment and income.

Local and regional businesses also benefit hugely from the vital expertise and innovative approaches of Leicester’s academics.

The university has successfully partnered with numerous businesses in the East Midlands through projects such as Innovation Partnerships, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Since 2009, the University has secured over £7 million in ERDF and RGF grant funding with additional match funding provided by the University to work with regional companies.

Anjuu Trevedi, Leicester’s Head of Regional Business Engagement, said: “Businesses of all sizes have benefited from working with the University by accessing our greatest assets, our academics and our graduates for technology transfer and knowledge exchange to introduce, embed and capitalise on innovative ideas, processes and new Intellectual Property.

“The University’s strategy over the last five years has been to work more with regional companies, especially SMEs, in addition to our international focus. As a result we have worked with and supported hundreds of firms and established effective relationships for ongoing collaborations. The ambition is to continue to grow our SME clusters by targeting companies whose business is aligned with our research strengths.

“Our regional strategy is also helping to retain more graduates in the area through the creation of  graduate jobs and placements. Graduate placements and job creations targets have been intentionally built into regional  projects  such as Innovation Partnerships. By employing such graduates, firms are able to bring into their business new insights and dedicated resource at a relatively low cost to deliver new products and services.”

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, the University of Leicester’s Vice Chancellor, said: “The University drives innovation in business and industry and supplies a highly skilled workforce for many professions. Our technological innovations mean we are constantly finding new ways of working with regional business and industrial partners, ensuring that the creation of knowledge at the University is translated into business intelligence.”

Click here for more information on the UUK annual conference.

A Youtube video by UUK on where student fees go is available here:


Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact:

Ather Mirza
Press Office
Division of Corporate Affairs and Planning
University of Leicester
tel: 0116 252 3335

Case studies

The fortunes of VDT (Video Domain Technology) Direct, in Mansfield, Nottingham, have been transformed by its partnership with the university.

The company developed a revolutionary new crime detection product, Webeye CMS, with expertise and support from the university’s Computer Science Department.

Webeye allows mobile security guards to monitor remote sites and receive video alarms whilst on the move.

As a result of the collaboration the company's turnover has increased by 40 percent. It is taking on extra staff and has set up an American office to successfully export the product to the American market. The company anticipates a further 60-80 percent growth in turnover in coming years. The company has since developed an in-house R&D capability (previously a reseller of products) and is for the first time able to sell its own products not just in the UK but through exports.

With the help of the university, another local business, Bulb Studios, has designed an app which significantly improves the way market research data is collected and analysed.

The Crowdlab app for smartphones and tablets allows participants to take part in surveys whenever and wherever they like - vastly improving the quality of data that is sent back to researchers.

Academics at the University played a key role in the growth of the business and the development of the Crowdlab software.

The project was part-funded by the Government under its highly successful Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme which encourages collaboration between businesses and universities.

Dr William Green, lecturer in innovation, operations and knowledge management, helped the Bulb design teams better understand user-centred design to ensure that new software applications were intuitive and engaging.

Jim Willis, from Bulb Studios, said: “Since the beginning of the Partnership, our relationship with the University of Leicester has gone from strength to strength and we continue to take advantage of Dr William Green’s specialist knowledge to inform the work we are doing.”

Earlier this year, the product scooped an Innovation Award at the inaugural Leicester Mercury Business awards.

The UUK’s annual conference is being held at the University of Leicester from Tuesday September 10 until Thursday September 12.

Share this page: