USW contributes £1.1 billion to the UK economy

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The University of South Wales (USW) contributes £1.1 billion to the UK economy every year, according to a new report published today (Thursday 21 October). 

The report, compiled by independent consultancy Biggar Economics, has examined data for the University of South Wales, which includes the University’s two wholly owned subsidiaries, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and The College Merthyr Tydfil. They looked at data from the 2019/20 academic year to analyse the social and economic impact locally, in Wales, and across the UK.  

Findings from the new report include: 

  • The University supports 10,600 jobs across the UK. 
  • Every person employed by USW supports a further 3.2 jobs throughout the UK.
  • For every £1 that USW receives in income, £5.30 is generated to the wider economy.
  • Our knowledge exchange generates £25 million and 370 jobs in the UK. 
  • USW delivered 126,149 days of CPD. 

The impact of staff and student presence in the Cardiff Capital Region is also highlighted in the report, with many living, and working, in the region: 

  • Students spending and working contributes £111 million GVA and 2,740 jobs in the Cardiff Capital Region.
  • 81% of USW employees are based in the Cardiff Capital Region, spending an estimated £27m.

The report also evidences the University’s approach to widening access. Around one in three students from areas within the bottom two quintiles of the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) who entered higher education in 2018/19 went to USW. This represented almost half (49%) of USW’s undergraduate Welsh students and is significantly above average for higher education institutions in Wales (39%) and the UK (34%). It is equivalent to 28% of all students from areas in the bottom two quintiles of the WIMD who entered higher education in Wales in 2018/19.

Dr Ben-Calvert, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of South Wales, said: 

“The University of South Wales’s impact on the region, on Wales, and on the UK is clear to see. We are rooted in south Wales yet our contribution to the economy and society can be felt far and wide. Our impact is not purely a financial one - the university undeniably creates jobs both directly and indirectly, stimulates the wider economy through our students and staff, and assists the jobs market by producing highly skilled graduates every year who are ready to work in their chosen industry.

“But we do so much more than that. The university supports the sustainable delivery of services with our training of nurses, teachers, social workers and police officers. The university undertakes important, applied research - creating, collaborating and innovating - to answer the challenges of the modern world.”

Louise Evans, Chair of the Board of Governors for the University of South Wales, said: 

“Partnership and collaboration are in our DNA - we were founded by industry more than 170 years ago. We strive to let the outside in with an industry-led curriculum, real world work experience, and applied research and innovation, co-created with industry to address local and global challenges.

“We are immensely proud of the positive contribution USW makes to the prosperity of our region and nation.”

More information about the report is available on our website