In response to today’s IPPR North Report commissioned by Universities UK (UUK), Higher Education Wales Director, Amanda Wilkinson said:
“This report is welcomed as it highlights the importance of universities to Welsh economic growth.
“Here in Wales we have a high rate of graduate retention with 79% of graduates from our institutions choosing to remain, live and work in Wales which is important for an economy that is predicted to be increasingly reliant on its knowledge-economy and service sector.
“Welsh universities attract significant investment from outside Wales. In 2009/10 Welsh universities enrolled over 24,000 students from overseas and other parts of the EU. The IPPR report cites universities as a stable anchor and entry point for foreign firms, particularly for attracting research intensive foreign direct investment (FDI) enabling the development of a world-class research infrastructure in Wales.
“Significant employers in their own right, university expenditure has a high knock-on effect for expenditure in the wider economy. The report also highlights the positive impact that universities can have on business growth and innovation and workforce development, and their key role in civic leadership.
“The findings provide a strong rationale for further promoting the economic contribution of higher education institutions and demonstrate clearly that universities are a powerful means of delivering economic growth through the development of skills, investment and innovation. “