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Higer Education worth more than pharmaceutical industry

Date 17 Sep 2006
Author The Editor

Higher Education Institutions are worth £45 billion to the UK economy, according to a report by the vice-chancellors' organisation Universities UK. The higher education sector is now a larger contributor to the UK economy than the UK pharmaceutical industry and aircraft industry and only slightly smaller than UK legal activities and auxiliary financial services. The higher education sector had an income of £16.9 billion a year in 2003/04 (compared with £12.8 billion in 1999/2000), gross export earnings of £3.6 billion and employed 1.2% of the total workforce.  Higher Education Institutions directly employ more than 330,000 people, which equates to approximately 280,000 full time equivalent jobs. This is equivalent to 1.2% of total UK employment. In addition, for every 100 university jobs, a further 99 are created by 'knock-on' effects. More than 276,400 jobs in other sectors of the economy are dependent on the Higher Education industry. Professor Drummond Bone, President of Universities UK, commented: "We have in the past tended to focus purely on the general economic impact of higher education institutions on the rest of the economy. This latest report however provides new evidence of their impact as independent business entities, and confirms the Chancellor Gordon Brown's statements about the growing value of Higher Education to the UK economy during his speech in Beijing last year." 

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