UK Universities add at least £1.3 billion a year to the economy, according to a new report from an economic think tank.
Research from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) published in association with Universities UK, claims universities add the figure to UK society in the form of health and well-being, citizenship and political engagement.
‘Degrees of Value: How universities benefit society’ attempts for the first time to put a monetary value on some of the ways that universities contribute to society at a local and a national level, using Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology. These values are above and beyond the economic contribution that universities make.
The report recommends that the Government starts to take account of these and other social contributions made by higher education and values them accordingly. It also argues that universities across the country start to become more vocal about their community and outreach work and continue their efforts to improve access to higher education for students from poorer backgrounds.
Dr Faiza Shaheen, the author of the report and economist at NEF said: “Everyone knows that higher education is essential for a thriving economy, but universities deliver much more than just economic benefit to the UK. They’ve been helping to build a big society – long before the current concept had ever been conceived”.
Posted by Keith Broomer
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