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Economic Impact

New report reveals economic impact of Newcastle University

Published on: 28 February 2017

An independent assessment of Newcastle University’s contribution to the city of Newcastle and wider UK shows that the Russell Group institution adds £1.1 billion to the economy.

With over 27,500 students and 5,780 staff, the majority of whom are based at its city centre campus, Newcastle University is the 4th largest employer in the North East and accounts for 6% of all jobs in Newcastle. With a total annual income of £475m, Newcastle University also has the fourth largest income of the 31 higher education providers in the North.

The economic analysis by Regeneris and Urban Foresight (PDF 1.03MB) also highlights the value of research awards attracted to the region by the University. Totalling £105m, these research grants and contracts have helped support major investment in R&D including two National Innovation Centres in ageing and in data and a national research centre for subsea and offshore engineering on the banks of the Tyne. 

Prof Chris Day, VC and President of Newcastle University, and Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council, on site at Science Central

Educating pioneers

The report, which focusses on the year 2014-15, also shows the number of international students studying in the city and North East region. With over 6,600 international students, from 120 different countries, Newcastle University has the 19th largest international student population of all UK universities, with 1 in every 66 international students in the UK studying at Newcastle. A further 1,000 international students are studying at its INTO pathway centre.

The University’s thriving population of both UK and international students brings with it significant spending power. In 2014-15, students at Newcastle University spent an estimated £240m in the North East outside of the University campus. In addition, visits from students’ friends and family generated a total of £17m of additional expenditure for Newcastle and the North East region, supporting 430 jobs in the North East and 290 jobs in Newcastle alone.

Professor Chris Day is Vice-Chancellor and President of Newcastle University: “Our original role as a University was to educate the pioneers of the industrial revolution to make advances in engineering, shipbuilding and agriculture. We also led the way in research into public health issues that blighted the local population at that time.

“Today, even though we have grown in scale and diversity, and are now operating on a truly global stage, with campuses in London, Malaysia and Singapore, we continue to have a profound impact on the city of Newcastle and the North East of England.

“The challenge is how – as an anchor institution in Newcastle – we build on this to address issues of social inequality in our region while recognising that we also need to adapt to the wider impact of Brexit, globalisation and major societal changes such as an ageing population.”

Attracting new businesses and jobs to the region

The new report – the first to be produced by the University – also highlights the institution’s role in attracting new businesses and jobs to the region. In partnership with Newcastle City Council, the University is creating Science Central – a £350m urban regeneration project on the site of a former brewery which is the largest of its kind in the UK.

Pat Ritchie, Chief Executive of Newcastle City Council: “The close partnership we have with Newcastle University means the city benefits immensely from their world-class research, leading academics and talented students; all contributing to our local economy, our talent offer and to the vibrancy of our Great North City.

“Our partnership with the University on Newcastle Science Central is one we are particularly proud of. It is a symbol of our shared vision and ambition spanning more than a decade. The strength of that partnership is now more visible than ever as their Urban Sciences Building nears completion, with new commercial and academic developments due to start on site this year, and two national innovation centres planned in the fields of ageing and smart data. We look forward to continuing our strong and growing civic-university partnership for decades to come.”

Other parts of the region 

The report also details the University’s impact in other parts of the region where it operates two research farms in Northumberland, a coastal research and teaching centre at Tynemouth and a major marine technology facility at Blyth.

The University’s cultural contribution to the city and region is also assessed. The Hatton Gallery is part of the University’s world-class school of arts and cultures while the Great North Museum, also owned by the University, is home to an extensive natural history and archaeology collection. Operated by Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, the GNM and Hatton Gallery welcomed 837,000 visitors in 2014/15.

Read the Newcastle University Economic Impact report


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