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LERU report assesses the economic impact of research universities

Publication date: 08/09/15


A report commissioned by LERU acknowledges the diverse ways in which universities contribute to society and how their activities bring about wider benefits.
A study by the independent consultancy BiGGAR Economics resulted in an insightful analysis of the economic contribution of LERU universities, and research universities in general, to the European economy. One of the key findings is that LERU universities generated a total economic impact of €71,2 billion and about 900 000 jobs across Europe in 2014. It implies that for each €1 in GVA directly generated by the LERU universities, there was a total contribution of almost €6 to the European economy, and every job directly created by the LERU universities supported almost 6 jobs in the European economy. Although this report assesses the quantifiable economic impact of the LERU universities, there are, however, significant wider, unquantifiable benefits of higher education to individuals and to society, such as greater social cohesion, improved social mobility, better health and wellbeing and greater civic engagement. Through this report, LERU aims to contribute to the understanding and recognition of the
multidimensional and far-reaching impact of research universities. Such an acknowledgement should be
accompanied by practical, European and national measures to enable the development of research
universities´ activities, such as providing the appropriate framework conditions and adequate funding. “The wide impact of research universities (and universities in general) should be better acknowledged. As indicated in the report, the contribution of research universities is greater than that of the direct GVA and employment of the automotive industry, the pharmaceutical and real estate sectors in Europe. That is certainly not a negligible fact” states LERU Chair and Unistra President Alain Beretz.    


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