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Report shows significant economic impact of University

Dunedin lights

Tuesday 9 August 2016 3:07pm

The University of Otago continues to make a major contribution to Dunedin and the nation’s economy, according to a report released today.

The University’s annual Economic Impact Report for 2015 was presented at a meeting of the University Council.

The report was prepared by the Office of the Vice-Chancellor and calculated the economic impact of the University. These figures included not only the University’s expenditure but also that of students and staff at campuses located in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington and Invercargill, as well as the Auckland Centre and Wellington City Office.

The University is one of the 50 largest employers in the country and one of the largest in the South Island, the report said.

The Dunedin campus, which has around 93 per cent of students and 88 per cent of all staff, injected an estimated $881.1 million directly into the economy through spending by the University, its staff and its students.

The University's campuses in Christchurch and Wellington each contributed $51.9 million and $50.5 million to their respective economies. Invercargill contributed $2.4 million, while the Auckland Centre and Wellington City Office combined injected $800,000 into their respective economies.

An economic model which estimates the trickle-down or down-stream effects of direct spending shows the total impact of hosting a campus in Dunedin added $1.55 billion to the city’s economy (supporting directly and indirectly 13,902 jobs), $109.7 million to Christchurch (supporting 779 jobs), $96.4 million to Wellington (supporting 765 jobs) and $3.8 million to Invercargill (supporting 43 jobs), while the Auckland Centre and Wellington City Office combined added $1.7 million (supporting 14 jobs).

In Dunedin, about 85 per cent of the students came from outside the city, 75 per cent from beyond Otago and Southland, including more than a third from the North Island (41 per cent) and a further 15 per cent from overseas.

University Planning and Funding Director David Thomson says “there are many other economic, social and cultural benefits created by the presence of the University of Otago at each of the campuses, but they are difficult to quantify and fall outside the scope of this report.”

For more information, please contact:

Planning and Funding, Office of the Vice-Chancellor
Director David Thomson
Tel: 03 479 7716

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