Ceredigion universities contributing £135m to the county, claims new report



08 October 2021

Welsh universities within Ceredigion are contributing £135.0 million to the county's economy through a combination of direct spending and purchases from staff and students alike. 

A new independent report commissioned by Universities Wales illustrated the value of the sector to Wales, accounting for a £5 billion boost to the economy and one in 20 jobs across the country. 

Across Wales as a whole, Ceredigion universities generate £241.67 million of value for the country's economy. These universities have also created 3,303 jobs in Ceredigion either directly within the university or reliant upon it. 

Other benefits of the sector include life-changing research and educating the workforce of tomorrow across both private and public sector. It has been estimated than 10,000 nurses, 4,000 medical specialists and 8,000 teachers will train at Welsh Universities during the next five years. Aberystwyth University will play a key role in this with the launch of nursing qualifications next year.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University and Chair of Universities Wales, said:

 “This report clearly illustrates what Aberystwyth University contributes to Ceredigion and the wider Welsh economy. From providing access to education and skills to working with business on cutting edge research and innovation, the work that we and the wider university sector do is closely intertwined with the people and places of Wales.   

“What is most notable about the findings of this report is not just the immediate economic impact of the activities we carry out, but how we bring benefits right across local communities and, indeed, across Wales. 

“As we rebuild and recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue working with partners across Wales, and embrace the challenges of a changing world. The university sector has a shared goal in growing and sustaining a successful, enterprising higher education sector that draws in international expertise and excellence while delivering for the whole of Wales.” 

The report also found that the wider Welsh university sector generated £5.3 billion of output, accounted for 61,722 jobs, lead to one job for every two international students, contributed 11.8% (£661 million) of all Welsh service sector export earnings and was the equivalent of £2.8 billion of GDP. 

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething MS said:

“I very much welcome this important report, which makes clear the strengths of Wales’ higher education institutions and their vital contribution to Welsh society and to our economy. 

“In Wales, we value our universities as drivers of research and innovation, creating and distributing new knowledge which can transform how we live and work. They are a vital part of the skills pipeline, educating and training our people for the jobs of the future, and offering opportunities for lifelong skills development.  

“Crucially, our universities are anchor institutions within our local communities, providing or contributing to the employment of 1 in 20 people in Wales, and playing a key role in local economies. I’m particularly pleased Wales outperforms the other UK nations on the proportion of graduate start-ups per capita – with an impressive variety of businesses emerging from Welsh universities. These businesses help us retain our talent, which is vital for Wales’ future economic prosperity. 

“Through their teaching, research and innovation and civic engagement activities, universities have a crucial role to play in supporting our recovery plans and Programme for Government priorities. I look forward to working with them, as we work together to build a more prosperous, equal and greener Wales.”