FOR THE first time The News can reveal the true scale of how much the city’s university pumps into the economy.
An independent assessment has shown the University of Portsmouth is worth £1.1bn to the British economy – enough cash to fund two hospitals or almost 50 new secondary schools.
The study shows the institution supports more than 12,800 jobs UK-wide and delivers an economic boom of £476m to Portsmouth, supporting 7,900 jobs in the city.
And the wider boost to the Solent area through the education hub’s economic contribution surges to £627m.
The details were revealed in an analysis by Biggar Economics between 2015/16.
The 59-page document breaks down how the university has benefitted the city and the UK.
We believe that the more successful the university is, the more successful the city will be – and vice versa.Graham Galbraith, University of Portsmouth vice-chancellor
In particular, it assessed the gross value added figures for the university, which measures how much money was generated through the university’s activities.
The report found that through the institution’s core activities it generated about £352m and backed 5,800 jobs.
This includes those directly employed by the university and the impact of cash spent by the site and its staff.
And it revealed the positive impact the student population had on the area.
By spending money in the local economy, volunteering for city-based organisations and working part-time during their studies, students generated £275m for the nation’s economy.
Overseas students also played a key role in helping Portsmouth to prosper, supporting 590 jobs in the city.
Relatives and friends visiting non-UK students brought in £64m of trade into Portsmouth.
The results of the study have since been welcomed by city leaders who said this demonstrated the value a university could bring to their local community.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said the university was playing a vital role in helping to shape the local economy.
She said: ‘The university is a key part of the city’s growing prosperity.
‘The economy of the Solent is enhanced by the strong university offer we have and the growth and development of the University of Portsmouth over the past 10 years has been incredibly impressive.
‘The jobs that have been created and the additional links we benefit from through the university, such as strong ties with China, are key to attracting businesses to the city and retaining graduates in Portsmouth.
‘The future development plans the university has are hugely impressive and the close relationship between the university and council is benefiting Portsmouth’s growth.’
With a total of 2,550 full-time staff, the university is the fourth largest employer in Portsmouth behind the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and the city council, employing nearly eight per cent of the city’s entire workforce.
As well as expenditure by staff, students and the university as a whole, the research unveiled how much other services Portsmouth offered had benefited the area. It calculated that research and consultancy services for businesses, the delivery of professional training, student placements and industrial studentships was worth £73m to the UK’s economy.
Spaces offered by the university to fledgling businesses helped to safeguard 320 jobs and add £11m to the city’s own economy.
The study also showed that the site made a ‘significant contribution’ to the city’s tourism and visitor trade, with university open days alone generating £1.5m for the island.
Graham Galbraith, the university’s vice-chancellor, said: ‘A central focus of the activity of the University of Portsmouth is to support the success of our city.
‘We aim to educate people with the skills and capability to help business flourish and to grow research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the city and region.
‘We believe that the more successful the university is, the more successful the city will be – and vice versa.’
Portsmouth was this year named in The Times’ top 100 young universities in the world, reaching 98th – up one place from 2016.
Research shows that for every person directly employed by the university, it supported five jobs elsewhere in the UK.
The site’s annual income, through tuition fees, grants, research and other areas is £225m.