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The economic and social impact of the University of Southampton

University of Southampton Science Park
University of Southampton Science Park

More than a third of the identifiable regional-based impact generated by the University of Southampton occurred outside the south east of England, a report by independent consultants reveals.

The consultants London Economics were commissioned by the University of Southampton to analyse the economic and social impact associated with the university’s activities in the 2020-21 academic year.

The report identifies the direct, indirect and induced impacts of the university with the total impact of its activities on the UK economy estimated at £4.1bn.

Of the £2.5bn of identifiable regional-based impacts, approximately £1.6bn (64%) of the impact occurs in the south east, of which a very significant proportion occurs within Southampton itself. But the analysis indicates that every region of the UK benefits from the activities of the University of Southampton with economic impact of the university on the East of England estimated to be approximately £100m, while the economic impact on the north west and Yorkshire and the Humber were £83m and £69m respectively.

The total economic impact associated with the activities of the University of Southampton’s spinout companies in the 2020-21 academic year was estimated to be £928m across the UK economy.

The main points highlighted in the analysis include:

  • The University’s research and knowledge exchange activities are valued at £2.1bn
  • For every pound spent by the University, £7.40 was generated in economic benefit.
  • the activities of the University of Southampton’s spinout activities in 2020-21 was estimated at £370m in economic output
  • University spinouts supported 1,140 FTE staff, and contributed £126m of gross value added

As well as the economic impact, the report highlights the social impact of the University through case studies giving examples of the nature of the societal benefits it generates.

This report is the third analysis of economic impact compiled by London Economics for a Science and Engineering South member in the past year, following Oxford’s in autumn 2021 and UCL’s earlier this year.

Professor Mark Spearing, SES’s executive board member for the University of Southampton, said: “We welcome this report which not only underlines the University’s importance to the UK economy but across the world. More than that, it demonstrates the far-reaching impact our research and enterprise has, leading on innovation and nurturing talent for the future.  More directly, the huge impact we have on our host city Southampton, especially as our region emerges from the effects of the pandemic.”

You can read the University of Southampton’s press release on the university website.