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Glasgow exports contribute £631m to UK economy

The University of Glasgow contributes £4.4 billion to the UK economy with £631 million associated with exports from the institution, a new study has revealed.

The University of Glasgow's international students contribute around £631m to the economy through tuition fees and living costs. Photo: iStock

Every £1m spent by international students specifically supports an additional £1.53m in “economic activity in the UK” – over half of which would be in Scotland

Independent analysis of the 2018/19 academic year data also found that the Scottish university’s influence was “growing”, as its total contribution was up 14% on the previous three years.

In other areas, the overwhelming majority of the total, 42%, was economic impact of research, which stood at £1.8bn.

Operating and capital expenditures together made up £1.2bn of the economic impact, while teaching and learning’s contribution stood at £734m.

London Economics, which carried out the research, found that every £1m spent meant another £5.8m would be “generated elsewhere in the UK economy”.

Every £1m spent by international students specifically supports an additional £1.53m in “economic activity in the UK” – over half of which would be in Scotland.

It comes after earlier London Economics research found that international students in the UK generated £28.8bn for the economy yearly.

The Scottish parliament’s cabinet secretary for finance found the report “tremendous”.

“For almost 600 years the University of Glasgow has been a beacon of research and learning,” said Kate Forbes.

“Its role today, in education, and its positive impact are as important as they ever were in helping Glasgow flourish.”

It is not just Glasgow that benefits, according to Anton Muscatelli, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, who mentioned the ramifications for Scotland as a whole.

“We believe this report indicates how our university can continue to create jobs, drive innovation and growth, and ultimately stimulate Scotland’s recovery now and into the future.

“[It] describes our global reach and our world-changing potential,” he continued.

On educational exports, the report found that almost half of the expenditures coming from international students was on living costs – thus “helping to support economic activity and employment”.

“With our diverse international student population, our global partnerships and our research excellence, Glasgow’s economic footprint stretches far and wide,” Muscatelli added.

Students from over 140 different countries attended the university in 2018/19, with its international student population “more than doubling” in the past 10 years, the report found.

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