Working Capital

Working Capital documents how London's higher education is supporting the economic recovery through skills, innovation and partnerships.

The publication can be downloaded here (PDF: 0.7 MB) and information to data sources and references in the document are given in the sections below.

Please read our disclaimer concerning data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Services to the UK economy

Part of the solution

London universities and higher education (HE) colleges are home to national and international centres of excellence in research, teaching and technology transfer.

Each £1 million of activity by London HE institutions (HEIs) produces £1.39 million* in other UK industries.

Contributing to the economy

London HEIs generate £12 billion each year

Source: Making an economic impact: Higher education and the English regions. Research Report, Universities UK. June 2010.

* Note that a figure of £139 million was used in error in the first printed copies of Working Capital (correction to web version on 17 June 2010)

Skills

Creating jobs

Over 74,000 jobs are created by London HEIs, nearly 80% of them within the London region (1).
But that’s not all. Universities directly employ 94,000 staff, from academics to gardeners (2). International students who come to study in London generate 40,000 jobs (3) and spin-off companies formed to develop research emerging from London HEIs employ at least 2,600 people (4).

That’s a lot of job creation. In fact, London HEIs are one of London’s biggest employers.

Providing skills

London HEIs offer over 30,000 qualifications (5).

HEIs in London also deliver 650,000 learner days in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and continuing education courses (6).
In fact, London HEIs supply training to businesses and individuals worth £120 million (excluding NHS and TDA) (7).

Training equivalent to the South East and East of England combined (8).

Sources:
(1) Making an economic impact: Higher education and the English regions. Research Report, Universities UK, June 2010. (Figure refers to full-time equivalents, FTE)

(2) Resources of Higher Education Institutions, 2007/08: Staff Data for London Region.
London Higher Factsheet 2009. Data from Resources of Higher Education Institutions, 2007/08, from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited, May 2009.

(3) The economic impact of London’s international students. Oxford Economics, 2007.

(4) Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. London Higher report 2009. Data from HEFCE, July 2009.

(5) Study London website, accessed 10 May 2010.

(6, 7, 8) Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. London Higher report 2009. Data from HEFCE, July 2009.

Innovation

A partner for business

London HEIs have the most links of any UK region with large R&D performing firms (1).

They are world leaders in research, innovation and knowledge transfer. London has the highest cumulative patent portfolio of any UK region with over 4,000 patents (2). The capital’s HEIs have been awarded over £243 million in research funding through competitive grants (3).

25% of the top UK 1000 R&D companies chose to be in London (4).

Solving global challenges

London is a cluster of brilliant minds and technology.

It’s no accident that London was awarded 3 out of 5 Academic Health Science Centres by an international panel of experts (5) and 80 university research departments in London are focusing on climate change (6).

London HE is working to create a better future for all of us.

Sources:
(1) R. Huggins and D. Prokop. Universities as knowledge network nodes: key institutional and industrial players. Presentation at Making an impact – universities and the regional economy. London, 4th November 2009.

(2) Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. London Higher report 2009. Data from HEFCE, July 2009.

(3) London Higher Factsheets on Research Council funding to London HEIs, 2009.

(4) The 2009 R&D Scoreboard, BIS, 2 March 2010.

(5) NHS London press release, 9 March 2009.

(6) The role of universities in stimulating economic development. London Development Agency, March 2010.

Partnerships

Working with schools

Did you know that London leads the UK on widening access to higher education?

36% of maintained school children in London progress to higher education compared to a national average of 28% (1).

London HE works in innovative ways with the capital’s 400+ secondary schools.

London’s 14 specialist providers of Initial Teacher Training train over 6,300 primary and secondary teachers each year (2).

Outreach staff at London HEIs arrange school-based activities for 75,000 school pupils each year (3).

A part of the community

Each year 3 million people attend events organised by London HEIs (4).

HEIs in London employ 1,300 staff dedicated to business and community partnerships (5).
London HEIs are key partners in some of the boldest national and international collaborations, such as the British Library’s UK Research Reserve and the Global Medical Education Cluster.

London HEIs are contributing to a fair and inclusive society.

A unique knowledge cluster

Whatever the demands of a business, organisation or individual, they can be met by London HEIs.

Over 400,000 students choose to study in London (6).

Sources:
(1) Creating world class partnerships between schools and higher education. Department for Children, Schools and Families. Crown Copyright 2009.

(2) Data extracted from Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2006/07, Higher Education Statistics Agency, March 2008.

(3) London AimHigher Regional Office, data for 2007.

(4, 5) Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. London Higher report 2009. Data from HEFCE, July 2009.

(6) Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09. London Higher Factsheet, 2010. Data from Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09, Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited, April 2010.

Promoting Health

There are 5 medical schools in London and over 20 HEIs engaged in health studies supporting 70 NHS Trusts.

A diverse and ageing population is challenging. London HEIs are helping to improve health outcomes by linking research with practice.

Sources:
(1) Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09. London Higher Factsheet, 2010. Data from Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09, Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited, April 2010.

(2) What we do – Promoting Innovation, NHS London website.

(3) What we do – Promoting Innovation, NHS London website.

Creating culture

London’s reputation as the creative and cultural capital is underpinned by over 20 London HEIs providing arts and humanities teaching and research.

Sources:
(1) Student numbers in English, Historical & Philosophical, Languages, Education, Social Studies and Creative Arts & Design subjects, taken from Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09. London Higher Factsheet, 2010. Data from Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2008/09, Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited, April 2010.

(2, 3) Data are underestimates as they are based on figures for specialist HEIs and do not include multi-faculty HEIs. Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. HEFCE, July 2009.

(4) Figure based on staff time for performances in social, community and cultural activities in London using a consultancy day rate. Higher Education Business and Community Interactions Survey, 2007/08. HEFCE, July 2009.

Inward investment

London HEIs attract international students and research funding.

EU alumni alone contribute £47.5 million to the UK economy through employment taxes (4).

Sources:
(1) The economic impact of London’s international students. Oxford Economics, 2007.

(2, 3, 4) Estimating the economic impact of engagement with the European higher education agenda. Interim report by Professor Brian Ramsden, March 2010.

Showcasing the UK

As the Games approach, London HEIs are playing a major role in
hosting the greatest show on earth.

The eyes of the world will be on London in 2012.

Sources:
(1) Podium news items, 10 March 2010 and 2 November 2009.

(2) Podium news item, 25 July 2009.

Disclaimer

HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inference or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.

All figures refer to 41 of 42 publicly funded HEIs in the London Government Office Region excluding the Open University in London (data not available).