City's appeal leads to huge increase in student numbers

LOVE or loathe them, students are a big money spinner for Liverpool, a new report has revealed.

It shows that the University of Liverpool contributes over £650 million a year to the local economy.

The figures were revealed in an economic and social impact study, launched by the university, which also includes details of the significant role the university plays in driving economic growth and job creation, attracting increasing numbers of student numbers and undertaking ground-breaking research.

Together with its near-18,000 students and their visitors, the University of Liverpool generated a £652m gross value added contribution to the Liverpool city region in 2015-16. The £652m represents a 31 percent rise in economic growth at the university since 2011-12, compared to a 4 percent increase across the city region generally.

On its social impact, the study shows the university's important role in driving social mobility. The university ranks first in the Russell Group both as a recruiter of students from state schools and as a recruiter from communities where people are statistically less likely to go to university.

The university works with 345 schools and colleges that teach high numbers of pupils from low income families and spent £1.5million in 2015-16 on outreach programmes.

The report also shows that one in every 57 jobs in the Liverpool city region, around 10,790 in total, was supported by the university, its students and their visitors in 2015-16. This represents a 17 percent increase in university-related employment since 2011-12.

A spokesman for the university said: "The main driver behind these changes is the increasing demand to study at the University of Liverpool. Over the last five years, the university's excellent teaching and Liverpool’s appeal as a place to study have attracted greater numbers of students from across both the country and the globe. This has resulted in a 19 percent increase in student numbers over the last five years.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer said, “Our city has many special qualities and we are extremely proud to have been founded in 1881 by and for the citizens of our city.

“The economic and social impact report highlights the major contributions of the university of Liverpool to the success of the Liverpool city region, not least through a significant increase in our student population, a parallel growth in university staff and providing local jobs through a major programme of investment in our facilities.

“The report is also a clear statement of intent to continue to actively nurture and develop our partnership with the city region in years to come.”

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, said: “Successful cities in the 21st century are those with thriving and fertile knowledge economies underpinned by leading-edge and globally connected universities. The University of Liverpool plays a massive role in the life of our city region and I look forward to drawing on its intellectual and social capital."