The Regional Universities Network (RUN) engaged Nous and the Centre of Policy Studies (CoPS) to undertake an economic impact study to quantify the impact of RUN member universities on their regional economies. Results have been produced using CoPS’ multiregional Computable General Equilibrium model of the Australian economy. This is an internationally recognised model, used by Australian federal and state government departments, private firms and universities globally. This method was selected for its ability to take into account the realistic dynamics of regional economies. This report presents a summary of the findings of this study.
This study found that the RUN universities deliver an additional $1.7b in their regional economies. This contribution is driven through three effects:
1. Jobs and productivity contribute to the supply of labour and growth for their regions – and regional Australia in general. Around 7 out of 10 RUN graduates will go on to work in a regional area.
2. Student and university spending drives significant demand for goods and services in the regional areas of RUN university campuses. RUN students spend approximately $480m in their campus regions and RUN universities spend $1.59b.
3. RUN university research drives innovation and productivity in aligned industries across Australia. RUN universities have had sustained growth in higher degree research income and research publications and RUN research and academic time has a direct value of $179m.
There are further social and economic contributions made by the presence RUN universities in their regional areas that are difficult to quantify and have not been included in this model, such as improved social mobility and cohesion in the regions.
The base year for this study is 2015, determined by data availability, economic contribution in the current year would be higher.