25 February, 2014
Benefits to the Bay of Plenty from a downtown campus in Tauranga could be massive, with the University of Waikato already pumping more than $8 million and 40 jobs into the region’s economy.
That’s from the 836 students studying in the Bay of Plenty in 2013 and the latest economic impact report into the University’s operations show student spending adds more than $8 million in value added (wages for employees, profits for business and taxes for government) to the region.
The actual figures are likely to be higher still, with the report assuming all Tauranga students live at home.
“This almost certainly underestimates the direct Tauranga impacts since some Bay of Plenty students will, in fact, live away from home,” the report says.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the Bay of Plenty is an important part of the University.
“This report shows we are making a strong contribution to the Bay of Plenty,” he says.
“We are committed to the region and expect our presence in the Bay of Plenty to grow, providing more benefits for residents, students and the regional economy.”
Plans for a downtown campus in Tauranga are well developed and in August 2013, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council approved funding of up to $15 million to support the initiative.
The Bay of Plenty Tertiary Partnership was formed in 1998 by the University of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic. They were joined by Whakatane-based Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi in 2010 and Waiariki Institute of Technology from Rotorua in 2013.
The economic impact report, by consulting economist Dr Warren Hughes, shows overall the University of Waikato generated $938 million in revenue for the New Zealand economy in 2013, up from $860 million in 2012. This figure is expected to exceed $1 billion within two years.
The University generates more than 5200 jobs nationally and currently adds $474 million to the national GDP annually.