More than 19,000 jobs in the UK are being supported through EU university funding, either directly in the education sector or in industries that benefit from the research activities, a new study has found.
Conducted by higher education action group Universities UK, the report found that EU research grants for UK universities amounted to £838m between 2014 and 2015. The funding directly enabled the creation of 8,864 jobs and facilitated further 10,190 full-time equivalent openings in industries outside the education sector.
The EU funded research generated economic output of £836 and contributed nearly £577m to the GDP. The benefitting industries generated £1.02bn of economic output as a result of the EU university funding and a contributed nearly £503m to the GDP.
"EU research funding helps our universities to thrive, enabling UK researchers to collaborate with the best minds from across the EU in order to tackle global problems, from cancer to climate change,” said Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Kent.
"What is clear from this new analysis is that this EU funding also benefits the UK economy, boosting growth and creating jobs both directly and indirectly in a range of sectors in all corners of the UK.”
According to the report, UK universities are doing ‘disproportionately well’ in attracting EU funding.
"EU support goes far beyond money. It also provides irreplaceable networks and frameworks which enable our researchers to have a genuine impact on society by pursuing breakthroughs, discoveries and inventions which improve our lives," said Goodfellow.
The most benefitting industries include business with more than 2,604 full-time equivalent jobs; the wholesale and retail trade, with more than 2,048 full-time equivalent jobs; and manufacturing, with over 1,259 full-time equivalent jobs.