The University of Wollongong is driving Wollongong’s economic and social transition from a steel city towards a more diverse, highly skilled and globally competitive region. We will help create the new industries and jobs for the future.
This snapshot of UOW’s economic and social contribution is from the study titled Leading Locally, Competing Globally: Measuring the University of Wollongong’s Contribution to Economic and Social Prosperity in the Illawarra and beyond. The study, based on 2015 results, shows that UOW is playing a leading role in attracting vitality and growth to the Illawarra and Australia.
Our total direct, indirect and induced economic contribution to Gross Domestic Product in 2015 was $1.2 billion. The direct economic contribution of UOW to the Illawarra, in value-added terms, is $573 million – an increase of 7.7% between 2011 and 2015. This reflects the continued significance of UOW in the Illawarra and Australia more broadly. The total (direct, indirect and induced) economic contribution has also increased in real terms from $1.191 billion in 2011 to $1.21 billion in 2015. The various activities related to UOW helped generate $2.2 billion in gross output annually and labour income generated is estimated at $778 million. The total number of FTE jobs generated by UOW is estimated to be 10,169. Our graduates help generate approximately $1.49 billion annually through earnings premiums and extra taxes.
The survival and success of local economies is being increasingly drawn to universities as the source of a skilled workforce and new ideas. In fact, more than a decade ago Britain’s Ronald Dearing pointed towards the key role that universities are now expected to play: “Just as castles provided the source of strength for medieval towns, and factories provided prosperity in the industrial age, universities are the source of strength in the knowledgebased economy of the 21st century”.
The University of Wollongong has been, and will continue to be, a source of strength that anchors the Illawarra’s economy. The nexus between community, business and university is more important than ever and UOW is committed to shaping the local agenda and the transition to new industries and new jobs.
An assessment of the University’s economic and social contribution has been conducted over three months in 2016. This study was prepared by the SMART Infrastructure Facility, the Centre for Small Business and Regional Research, and Cadence Economics. It follows on from the first comprehensive study on UOW’s economic contribution which was produced in 2012. The new study uses the 2015 calendar year as the basis for analysis and a number of modifications and improvements to the previous methodology have been made.
I am pleased to report this new economic impact report confirms that we continue to make a significant impact to regional, state and national economies in the form of high-quality education and learning, research, technology, human capital development and graduate employability, aimed at meeting the needs of an increasingly knowledge and innovation-driven society.
The UOW Economic Impact Report outlines the headline findings of the study Leading Locally, Competing Globally: Measuring the University of Wollongong’s Contribution to Economic and Social Prosperity in the Illawarra and Beyond. It also presents our contributions that are harder to quantify in financial terms – particularly the value of volunteering undertaken by staff and students. There are also our research partnerships with business and industry that produce greater levels of innovation and impact which contribute to the creation of new enterprises.
Our total direct, indirect and induced economic contribution to Gross Domestic Product in 2015 was $1.2 billion, while the various activities related to UOW’s operations help generate $2.2 billion in gross output annually. One main indicator of UOW's economic activity is its "direct value-added", which is an equivalent measure to Australia's GDP. The direct value-added (or economic contribution) of UOW increased, in real terms, from $532 million in 2011 to $573 million in 2015. This is an increase of 7.7% in real terms, or almost 2% per year.
Another key indicator of UOW's economic activity is employment. In full-time equivalent (FTE) terms, the total direct employment from UOW increased from 5,021 in 2011 to 5,224 in 2015. This is an increase of 4%, or 1% per year.
The changing structure of employment in the region over the last 30 years shows the growing importance of UOW’s role as a developer of skilled human capital in the region. The coming period offers major opportunities for us to continue to evolve Wollongong from a steel city towards being a diverse, highly skilled and globally competitive “university city”.
The report demonstrates that UOW provides Wollongong and the Illawarra region more generally with the economic leadership it needs to grow and reach its full potential as a vibrant, prosperous and globally competitive region well into the future.
Professor Paul Wellings CBE