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Otago University’s Economic Impact Tops $900M

Otago University’s Economic Impact Tops $900 Million

The University of Otago injected over $908 million into New Zealand’s economy in 2003, an increase of $61 million (6.7 per cent) on 2002’s result, according to a report tabled at this week’s University Council meeting.

Based on the University’s expenditure, estimated student spending and flow-on effects of both, the report found that activities of the Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington campuses and its Auckland Centre generated an impact of $810.4 million, $49.6 million, $46.5 million, and $1.8 million respectively.

Acting University Vice-Chancellor Dr Phil Meade says the result shows that “not only does Otago contribute strongly to New Zealand’s economic future through producing high quality graduates and creating new knowledge, it also makes a major contribution to the national economy in its own right.”

According to the report, strong enrolment growth underpinned the 6.7 per cent increase in economic impact, with the University’s Equivalent Full-time Student (EFTS) numbers rising from 15,623 in 2002 to 16,632 in 2003, leading to student spending rising to $218.1 million.

The estimated average expenditure of each of these students was $13,114 ($8,450 on accommodation, food and other daily living expenses, and $4,664 on other consumer items).

Student ($218.1 million) and University ($316.2 million) spending directly injected $534.3 million into the national economy, with $476.7 million attributable to Dunedin, $29.2 million to Christchurch, $27.4 million to Wellington and $1 million to Auckland.

The University’s expenditure of $316.2 million included areas such as the day to day costs of running the institution, salaries, capital expenditure and spending on scholarships, the last of which rose to $11.4 million in 2003.

The report estimates that nationally $374 million worth of flow-on economic effects arose from the total student and institutional expenditure, a figure arrived at after applying a 1.7 multiplier* to the base figure of $534.3 million.

Electronic copies of the report are available on request.

NOTE TO THE EDITOR: *This multiplier was developed in consultation with the Dunedin City Council.

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