Investing in Knowledge, Creating Opportunity

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A specially commissioned report captures the scale of the University’s economic, social and cultural impact.

The independent report offers the first comprehensive review of the University’s impact and provides the bedrock of evidence for the University’s ambitions for the future.

It examines the remarkable contribution Leeds is making to the city region, the UK and on a global scale, revealing that the University is making a £1.3bn contribution to the UK economy.

At £588 million, the report places Leeds as the 8th largest university in the UK by income.

At a special event on Wednesday 18 November, the Vice-Chancellor showcased the report and its key findings, inviting civic leaders, business and industry to learn more about the University and to think about how new partnerships and alliances can be forged to promote regional growth and prosperity.

Showcasing the University

Speaking at the event, the Vice-Chancellor said:

"There is much the University wants to do and will do in the coming years. But there is one key ingredient that could help us all achieve so much more; you.

"Today is about helping to demystify what happens here and setting out the tangible impact that we can have on the Leeds City Region and beyond.

"We are increasing our visibility, so that we can combine our knowledge and expertise and create new opportunities for growth.

"And we would like to encourage you to think about how we can work better together - to increase our economic, social and cultural impact."

Award-winning business journalist and broadcaster Steph McGovern also hosted a panel discussion, which explored how well universities as a sector are contributing to the success of their regions, the wider economy and society.

The panel also debated the need to rebalance the national economy as leaders across the North develop their responses to the so called ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Some facts you may already know about the University of Leeds and the city - and some that may surprise you. 

Economic driver

The findings of the report highlight the University’s role in helping the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership pursue its agenda to “unlock the Leeds City Region’s potential to become the growth engine for the North.”

Parkinson Building The University of Leeds contributes £1.3bn to the UK economy.

Other key findings include:

This report brings to life the remarkable contribution Leeds is making and its importance as a catalyst and supporter of economic growth in the region.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds

Investing in Knowledge

The University’s world-class research capabilities, aimed at tackling some of the greatest challenges facing our society and economy, are also showcased in the report.

Focused on real world priorities – health, water, food, energy, culture, cities and high value engineering - the research is having a direct impact on global society, acting as a major driver of economic growth, promoting health, quality of life and environmental sustainability.

These results rightly recognise Leeds as one of the UK's top higher education institutions and among the world's most respected universities.

Sir Alan Langlands, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds

Creating opportunity

The report goes further than economic impact, to also draw on the University’s social and cultural contribution, spanning a broad research agenda.

A new cultural institute hopes to boost the city’s bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023, as well as playing a key role in business innovation and skills development in the cultural and creative industries.

It will also provide a shop window for the wide array of cultural activity going on across the University and in partnership with the city, boosting public, staff and student engagement with the arts.  

Other key initiatives highlighted include: 

This innovation and enterprise centre will enable companies of all sizes to quickly tap into our research, the know-how of our staff, our state-of-the-art facilities, and our student and graduate talent.

Dr Ceri Williams, Director of Research and Innovation Development

An engaging community

With its 7,000 staff, and 31,000 students drawn from 146 countries, the report identifies the University of Leeds as a diverse and international community.

It illustrates the wider social impact of the University on the city region and the many initiatives aimed at making the Leeds City Region a better place to live, work and study.

Teaching and volunteering 1Embracing opportunities to make a real difference to community

With these strong local roots, the report identifies a truly global community, with real international reach.

International students Education that attracts and excites high quality students from diverse backgrounds

Education and Skills

With the University’s focus on developing first-rate graduates and high level skills, the report highlights the role of students preparing to be successful, ambitious and determined to make a difference in the global marketplace.

Only last week, the University of Leeds won The Duke of York Award for University Entrepreneurship at the National Business Awards 2015.

Noted for the support it offers in encouraging and enabling student entrepreneurship, the award also recognised the role the University has played in supporting high growth small businesses in the region.

The University is also contributing to skills development beyond the UK's shores.

Announced in October, it joined with Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) to launch the SWJTU-Leeds Joint School, delivering world class education and research in engineering and computing to Leeds and China.

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the joint school following its formal launch in Chengdu. He said: 

"This partnership will cultivate global talent and build strong connections between the UK, China and other parts of the world, addressing future skills requirements and opening up new research opportunities.

For this reason, the school will not only benefit Chinese and British students, providing them with a unique experience as they access an enhanced curriculum and study abroad, but also the business community and the wider economy in China and the UK."

The research that underpinned the report was undertaken by Viewforth Consultant Ltd.

Read the full report here: