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University’s Economic Contribution Tops $4 Bn

26 April 2006

University’s Economic Contribution Tops $4 Billion

An economic study released today puts The University of Auckland’s annual contribution to the Auckland region at almost $4.4 billion.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research study – The University of Auckland: Economic Contribution to the Auckland Region - estimated the regional economic impacts arising from the expenditure of the University and its students. It measured net economic benefits the region would miss out on if the University did not exist.

NZIER estimated the University and its students’ spending resulted in $4.39 billion of output being added to the Auckland region during 2005.

The study focuses on the immediate flow-on effects of spending at the University and by its students.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon says the study highlights the University’s significance to the Auckland region.

“The University is renowned as a long-established Auckland institution and a centre for educational excellence,” Professor McCutcheon says. “The NZIER’s research adds to this, giving us a useful sense of the University’s economic contribution.”

He says the $4.39 billion estimate is conservative.

“This research doesn’t measure long-term effects like the impact of future income streams from University graduates who stay in Auckland. It also does not seek to quantify the University’s role in generating knowledge spillovers to other sections of society.

“While a good measure of the trickle-down effects of spending, it does not account for the other consequences of the University’s research efforts. These are becoming increasingly important to us.

“Our research makes for more innovative and relevant teaching, strengthening our institutional capacity. It also generates and develops concepts with huge economic, social and cultural potential.

“For example, our fully-owned subsidiary UniServices was created 17 years ago, solely to commercialise university research in Australasia and has grown to employ 550 staff. It has spun out 22 new companies with a total market capitalisation of $266 million.”

Other key findings from The University of Auckland: Economic Contribution to the Auckland Region include:

- The total direct expenditure impact of the University, its staff and students in 2005 was $1.34 billion.

- The University provided 4,332 full time equivalent jobs directly in 2005. For each full time equivalent job that the University creates itself, one more additional job is created in the wider Auckland regional economy.

- After taking into account the direct, indirect and induced expenditure impacts of the University’s expenditure, the University contributed $2.43 billion worth of output to the Auckland regional economy in 2005.

- After taking into account the direct, indirect and induced expenditure impacts of the additional expenditure of the University’s 39,420 students (60% full-time), a further $1.96 billion worth of output was added to the Auckland regional economy in 2005.

The study drew on data from numerous sources including Statistics New Zealand, the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) and the University’s financial records.


A full copy of the report can be found on

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