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Supporting thousands of jobs in the UK

13th March 2018

Universities in the south of England – including Southampton Solent University – are together injecting more than £4.2 billion into the UK economy every year and supporting 52,300 UK jobs.

The major study by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), also found the universities contribute £2.1 billion of economic value and 33,000 jobs in the Solent region.

The study looked at the combined economic impact of Southampton Solent University, the University of Portsmouth, and University of Southampton. It found that every £1 the universities generate from their own work sustains £6 worth of UK economic activity, with £3 of that retained in the Solent LEP area.

The analysis by Biggar Economics, based on data from 2015/16, also found that:

  • The three universities support 1 in 20 jobs in the Solent region. This is higher than the national average of 1 in 36 jobs.
  • Between 2011/12 and 2020/21 the universities are expected to spend about £1.7 billion on capital investment.
  • In 2015/16 over 12,000 students graduated from the three universities – with nearly 1 in 2 graduating with a STEM degree. In addition, over 5,000 students graduated with a post-graduate qualification.
  • Students also contribute to wider society in other ways. In 2015/16 they volunteered over 43,800 hours (equivalent to five years) to good causes like schools, delivering meals and helping at the British Heart Foundation.


The report shows that Southampton Solent University contributes £561.3 million to the UK economy, including £193.4 million in Southampton. The University employs around 1,300 staff, has a full-time population of around 9,600 full-time students and an additional 10,000 maritime students and cadets. For each person directly employed by the University, it supports five jobs elsewhere in the UK, including four in the Solent region.

“It’s fantastic to see the significant economic impact that Solent has at a national and local level,” says Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University. “We’re proud that our real-world learning and research-informed teaching equips students with the skills needed to excel and drive economic growth in Southampton and the wider UK.”

Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent LEP, adds: “The Solent has many strategic assets that help make our region an economic gateway to the UK and the world. Our universities are a key part of this critical infrastructure and this report underlines the enormous contribution that they make not only to the Solent, but to the UK economy as a whole.

“The Solent LEP focuses a significant proportion of its strategic investment on key sectors such as the marine and maritime. The role that our universities play in helping the Solent region maintain its pre-eminent position in this area is integral and that is why the Solent LEP will continue to work in close partnership with them so that we can deliver the maximum economic return for the region.”

You can read the full report on the LEP website.