Our economic impact

Economic Impact front cover


In July 2016 an indpendent expert report by Biggar Economics for the University demonstrated that the University contributed more than £1.2bn to the UK economy in the year (2014/15).

For every £1 generated as a result of direct operations in the 12 months up to September 2015, the UK economy benefited by more than £8. For each £1 the USW Group received in funding, the corresponding financial benefit added up to more than £6.

The report looks at the economic impact that the USW Group - including the University’s subsidiaries, the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, and The College Merthyr Tydfil - has on the economy of the Cardiff City Region, Wales, and on the UK as a whole.

The key findings also show that:

Each person directly employed the USW Group supports 3.5 more jobs in the UK.

  • Students who graduate from USW can  be expected to earn a collective total of around £627m more over their lifetimes than they might have if they didn’t have a degree, which is a graduate premium of £104,606.

  • 64% of USW students remain in the Cardiff City Region after they graduate, so the University had a greater local impact than institutions where a higher proportion of graduates leave the area.

  • USW Group students undertaking part-time employment generated £81.9m Gross Value Added (GVA) for the Cardiff Region and 3,070 jobs.

  • People visiting students and staff or attending conferences, events, performances and open days, generated £5m GVA for the Cardiff Region and supported 275 jobs.

  • 79,000 days of CPD training for learners in South Wales was undertaken in 2014/15, making the University one of the top 10 HE institutions in the UK by volume of delivery.

  • 29% of USW students come from the most deprived areas of Wales, higher than any other Welsh university.

  • In 2014/15 USW generated £1.2 billion GVA and supported 14,120 jobs across the UK.

  • The total operational impact of the Group amounted to £257.50m GVA and 6,433 jobs across the UK.

  • Through their spending, part-time work and volunteering, USW students supported £281m GVA and more than 6,400 jobs in the UK.

Our work with international students brought £22.2m directly into the UK economy.