Oxford University worth £7.1billion to world’s economy

8th June 2017

As of 2015, OUI has helped create 136 high tech companies based on University intellectual property with a combined turnover of £600m a year, providing 1,886 jobs and adding £132m a year to the local economy.


Oxford University generates £7.1 billion for the global economy every year, new economic analysis reveals.

The first-ever study of Oxford’s economic impact shows that the University’s innovative and entrepreneurial approach supports more than 50,000 jobs across the UK.

Leading economic analysts Biggar Economics were commissioned to assess the impact of the University’s internationally outstanding research, teaching and enterprise. They calculated the effect of all University activity, including its direct spending, its highly successful spin-out companies and the productivity of its highly-skilled graduates.

Overall, the analysts found that in 2014/15, Oxford had a worldwide gross value added (GVA) of £7.1 billion, with £5.8 billion of that flowing to the UK and £2.3billion to Oxfordshire. For every pound of income earned, Oxford returns £3.30 to the wider national economy.

Oxford University’s commercialisation and enterprise activities are a particular source of strength, pumping £1.2 billion into the world economy every year. Oxford has generated 136 new spin-out companies – more than any other UK university – boasting a combined global turnover of £600 million. Oxfordshire is home to 80 of these innovative companies, employing 1,886 people and contributing £132 million annually to the local economy, while 129 remain based in the UK. Many are based at the Oxford and Begbroke Science Parks, which add £155 million a year to the local economy and support 2,700 jobs.

The study also found Oxford to be one of the country’s most successful organisations for commercialising research through technology licencing. Oxford accounts for £1 of every £10 of licencing income earned by UK higher education, generating £14.8 million for the Oxfordshire economy. The University’s vast range of expertise is worth a further £272 million a year to UK business through contract research, consultancy, executive education and knowledge transfer partnerships.

Biggar also assessed the economic value of Oxford’s contribution to health through its Medical Sciences Division, repeatedly ranked the best in the world. They estimated all medical research in 2014/15 to be worth £1.8 billion in the value of lives saved, quality of life improvements and in support for the local life sciences cluster.

The high-level skills and knowledge gained by University students allow them to contribute more to employers and produce more for the UK. The analysts calculated Oxford’s class of 2015 will be worth an extra £431 million a year to UK over their working lives. On top of that, the University has a knock-on benefit for the UK employment market, directly and indirectly supporting 50,600 jobs, many of them well-paid.

Students also inject £62.5 million into the Oxfordshire economy and support 1,600 jobs through their spending, work and volunteering. The 17,000 staff employed by the University spend a further £247 million in the region. The University is also a major player in the tourist economy, bringing £99 million a year for the city economy and supporting 3,450 local jobs.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, said:

“This report provides evidence for something long known around Oxford: the university drives the economy, both locally and nationally, as well as having a significant international presence. We provide jobs, attract investment and conduct globally recognised research that improves the lives of the people of Oxfordshire and of the United Kingdom. We are a global institution deeply rooted in a vibrant local community and can be an engine of the British economy into the future.”

Press release sign up

Ready to get in touch?

Contact Us
© Oxford University Innovation