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University of Surrey Contributes £1.4 Billion to UK Economy

Published on: 3 Apr, 2014
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2014

The University of Surrey, together with its own Surrey Research Park, has generated £1.4 billion for the UK economy and supported almost 16,200 jobs in 2012-13.

The Stag at the University of Surrey will be the venue for the fist Love event

The stag statue at the entrance to the University of Surrey.

These figures, from the university’s own report, follow on from the Universities UK’s report that details the impact of the higher education sector on the UK economy,

Produced by BiGGAR Economics, the study considers both the direct and indirect impacts that the University of Surrey has on the town of Guildford, the county of Surrey and the UK.

The University of Surrey said that the study gives an insight into the overall benefit of having a top 10 UK university located in Guildford.

A spokesman said: “The study found evidence that the university generates £6.45 economic impact for every £1 it earns, and indirectly supports six other jobs elsewhere in the UK economy for each direct job at the university.

“In addition, it concluded that the university generates a broad range of wider, unquantifiable benefits including: the provision of high quality sports and leisure facilities at Surrey Sports Park, significant contributions to the local community by student volunteers and a wide range of educational benefits to local children as a result of University-led events and activities.

The vice-president of the University of Surrey, Greg Melly, said: “Over the last 10 years, the university has been going from strength to strength, and we were delighted to make it into the top 10 UK universities in 2013.

“We are attracting an increasing number of high-quality students and staff who are enjoying considerable success here at Surrey. The university’s core mission is about improving the prosperity and health of the nation. We plan our growth to share skills, resources and effort with many partners and to deliver wide economic and social benefit. We are always seeking ways to increase that contribution.”

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Responses to University of Surrey Contributes £1.4 Billion to UK Economy

  1. Bernard Parke Reply

    April 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Good news, but at what price to the quality of life for the people living here in Guildford ?

  2. Mark Payne Reply

    April 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Shame such a successful institution can’t deliver on its promises to the community.
    1. They were supposed to help sort out the access for Beechcroft Drive but have done nothing!
    2. They were supposed to allow free recreational access to the green belt – but have erected a sign saying trespassers will be prosecuted.
    3. They were supposed to keep traffic growth down but can’t even produce figures to show what the impact of all their development has been.

    Sure, the University of Surrey is making plenty of cash by exploiting our green belt, but when you sit in the traffic queue it caused on the A3 ask yourself the question: What have they done for the community?.

  3. John Robson Reply

    April 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

    And rightly so, we consider that after gifting the University of Surrey 40 hectares of green belt there should be some kind of return, there’s no way this kind of growth and propserity would have been achieved had the university remained in Battersea, hence the reason you left!

    The question is, what came first the town and its green belt or the university?
    There is no dispute, the university is an integral component of Guildford’s strategic development, but not the only component. We need a balanced, diverse, functioning town, not just further extensions of university dormitories which are turning vast swathes of the town centre into buy to letsville, with the associated “social” problems, we no longer need to visit Argos to pick up a mattress.

    So well done Mr Melly, given the gifts that have been bestowed to you by Guildford Borough Council we expect you to make a contribution but we also request that you respect our neighbourhood and its nice big green garden, as you mentioned the UK, we only have 13% of the green belt left!

  4. Tom Stevens Reply

    April 5, 2014 at 1:35 am

    The title of this article and of the university’s original press release suggests that the figure of £1.4 billion is the university’s contribution to the UK economy. Further reading of the article suggests that this may not be entirely true as the article describes how it includes the contribution from its “own Research Park” which might include the turnover of various businesses who rent accommodation on its land.

    It would be interesting to know how this contribution is broken down between the university’s own operations and those of the various businesses who are its tenants. If it does include the contributions of these businesses, then it would also be interesting to find out how this contribution is worked out (particularly as some of these businesses work from multiple sites).

    While I don’t believe that the university would deliberately mislead anyone, it would also be interesting if the Dragon could provide a link to the BiGGAR study to see what else may or may not be included in the figures quoted.

  5. Mary Bedforth Reply

    April 5, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Dr Malcolm Parry who founded the Surrey Research Park is on the Enterprise M3 Board of Directors. Perhaps he can elucidate on the park’s monetary contribution to the local and national economy.


  6. C Stevens Reply

    April 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I can’t follow the figures in this piece either. It’s probably because I’m a bit dim, so can I ask Mr Melly to explain exactly how the figures work? Perhaps he could ask his statistics colleagues if they think the figures add up and his philosophy colleagues if they think that the presentation of them is ethically sound.

    Could I also ask if Mr Melly actually knows what a university is for? He says it’s to improve the “prosperity and health of the nation”. That makes it sound a bit like a drug company. Is that what a university is?

    And, yes, the university is in the top 10 according to the Guardian newspaper. Which Mr Melly doesn’t mention. Why not? It’s a fact. But thw whole piece leaves me with the impression that Mr Melly is more comfortable with the “unquantifiable” and the “indirect” than with cold, hard fact.

    I wouldn’t grade the piece better than beta minus.

  7. Fiona Curtis Reply

    April 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Mmmm….. and I suppose Father Xmas is ‘indirectly’ responsible for increased sales in December?

  8. helen sambrook Reply

    April 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I looked long and hard at different universities and at the different courses they offered when I made my choice two years ago to study for a degree in English. One thing which became immediately apparent, was the number of universities, like the University of Surrey, claiming to be in the top 10. I also couldn’t work out why some of these universities were so much easier to get into compared with some of the more established universities we are all familiar with.

    Surrey is indeed in the top 10 according to some (not all) tables, but many of the criteria can be manipulated, eg by grades awarded, uplift etc; and by varying combinations of different rankings for, say, research quality, quality of teaching, drop-out rates, student satisfaction etc. As a result, UK-only league tables are not highly regarded. It may be more relevant to look at international league tables such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which is more trusted by academics, governments and industry. According to this table, Surrey falls in the 350-400 band worldwide, with its overall score withheld by the University. I counted it as number 48 in the UK, which is roughly where it sits in terms of how difficult it is to get into.

  9. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    April 8, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Well done University of Surrey! While you give yourselves a sore arm from all that back-patting, some areas have been turned into student ghettos.
    Buy to lets are rife, and community spirit is non-existant. Unless, of course, you are including the ever increasing rat population which has a great rapport with the students. They seem to enjoy the frequent parties as there are always leftovers strewn about for their consumption.

  10. Mary Bedforth Reply

    April 9, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I saw this in the FT.

    ‘Visa rules in the spotlight as overseas student numbers fall

    Ministers’ efforts to increase education exports comes at a time of intense scrutiny over the appeal of British universities and schools to overseas customers.

    The number of international students coming to UK institutions has dropped for the first time in nearly three decades, according to research published last week by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the funding body. While this was partly due to a tripling of tuition fees to £9,000 a year in 2012, education sector leaders also blamed Home Office immigration restrictions, which have made it harder for non-EU students to come to Britain, and the abolition of the previous visa, which allowed them to stay and work for two years after the end of their course.’

    The University of Surrey must be feeling that effect too.

  11. Mary Bedforth Reply

    April 13, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    The National Trust’s director who held a senior civil service post previously, issues this warning.

    ‘Local authorities ‘hustled’ into passing greenfield planning permissions
    Pressurised councils mean greenfield sites ‘no longer sacrosanct’, says National Trust director Dame Helen Ghosh ‘

  12. Lisa Wright Reply

    May 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I wonder what the figures will be for 2013/14 and how much of that money was generated by the hard working people employed by the companies on the Surrey Research Park?

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