Staff news

University’s economic impact worth ten Commonwealth Games

A report into the University of Edinburgh’s economic impact has found that we have more than 10 times the impact on the UK economy than the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The independent financial study found that our University generates £7.52 billion per year to the UK economy. This compares to £740 million over seven years by the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth games. What’s more, every pound spent by the University produced £6.90 in economic benefit across the UK, a 34 per cent increase in impact since 2015-16. 

The study also found that the University – Scotland’s largest – supports more than 32,760 jobs across the UK with international students representing 160 countries and contributing £1.8 billion in economic benefit to the UK. 

The report also highlights how the University benefits the wider community through a range of activities that include medical research and the creation of start-up companies. Start-up and spin-out companies are estimated by the report to be worth a total of £162 million to the British economy and supporting 1,830 jobs. In addition, the study draws attention to the economic impact generated by the University’s core operations including direct employment, expenditure on supplies, and capital investment. 

Led by policy and economics consultancy London Economics, the report reviewed the University’s impact from a diverse range of activity including research, entrepreneurship, teaching and educational exports in the 2021-22 academic year. It also underlines the contribution made to the local economy through students’ spending, part-time work and voluntary activity. 

We wouldn’t be where we are without our people. We value the contributions of every individual regardless of whether they are students, staff, alumni or the many partners we work with.  As a world-leading centre of academic excellence, we aim to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world. This study strongly indicates the hugely important economic role that the University of Edinburgh plays within Scotland and beyond. We have more than 400 years of excellence behind us, but we’re not done yet. Working together, we can make the next 400 years even better. 

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor

The University of Edinburgh and the wider higher education sector are key partners in economic transformation and innovation, with the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) aiming to deliver a more prosperous, more productive and more internationally competitive economy.  We recognise that universities are uniquely placed to deliver across all of the programmes of action within the NSET – utilising their teaching, skills development, with a focus on access and inclusion, research, innovation and international reach. Our Higher Education sector is a major success story for Scotland – and the University of Edinburgh’s delivery of world-class research and innovation is a key part of this success. 

Humza Yousaf MSP, First Minister of Scotland 

Related links 

Economic impact of the University