Investing in Knowledge, Creating Opportunity

A specially-commissioned report showing the University’s contribution to the economy and society has been published and presented by the Vice-Chancellor at an open event.


The independent report offers the first comprehensive review of the University’s impact and provides the bedrock of evidence for the University’s ambitions for the future.  It examines the remarkable £1.3bn contribution we make to the city region and UK economy.

Key findings from the report include:

Our economic impact

  • Every £1m of revenue generated by the University will produce a further economic impact of £1.31m in the UK, £0.97m of which will be in Yorkshire and Humber.
  • We are Leeds’ third largest employer, creating the equivalent of nearly 6,600 full time jobs. Taking into account supply chain and expenditure, the University supports more than 14,000 jobs, the majority of them in Yorkshire and Humber.
  • For every 100 direct full-time equivalent jobs created by the University, an additional 117 jobs are generated in other industries, 92 of which in Yorkshire and Humber.
  • The University has created more than 100 spin-out companies, with a market capitalisation in excess of £500m. Seven of these spin-out companies are market listed on AIM, which is more than any other university in the UK.

Our research impact

  • The quality, volume and impact of world-leading research carried out at Leeds positions us within the top 10 for research power in the UK.
  • Most recently, it has also helped us secure a place in the top 100 universities in the world in the QS World Rankings in 2015.

Our social impact

  • Our volunteering programme is one of the biggest in the country.
  • Each year, students undertake voluntary outreach and aspiration raising activity in the region’s schools, equivalent to delivering 443 weeks of classroom support.
  • Students inject close to £200m of international revenue into the City Region each year.
  • The University collaborates with over 150 local charities to help them recruit volunteers.

Civic leaders, business and industry are learning more about the University and being encouraged to think about how new partnerships and alliances can be forged to promote regional growth and prosperity.

Speaking at today’s event, Sir Alan Langlands said:

There is much the University wants to do and will do in the coming years.  But there is one key ingredient that could help us all achieve so much more – you.  Today is about helping to demystify what happens here and setting out the tangible impact that we can have on the Leeds City Region and beyond.

We are increasing our visibility, so that we can combine our knowledge and expertise and create new opportunities for growth.  We want to engage with the LEP and many others to build new alliances and to support the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse.

And we would like to encourage you to think about how we can work better together - to increase our economic, social and cultural impact." 

Award-winning business journalist and broadcaster Steph McGovern will host a panel discussion, exploring how well universities as a sector are contributing to the success of their regions, the wider economy and society.

The panel will also debate the need to rebalance the national economy as leaders across the North develop their responses to the so called ‘Northern Powerhouse’.

Catch up on the Vice-Chancellor’s speech and panel discussion by reading this live blog.

Read more about the report and the University's plans

Read the full report.

Watch this video of the report highlights:

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