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The institute for employment studies What’s different about university cities? Marc Cowling.

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Presentation on theme: "The institute for employment studies What’s different about university cities? Marc Cowling."— Presentation transcript:

1 the institute for employment studies What’s different about university cities? Marc Cowling

2 Issues More than half of our largest cities have universities Universities are huge creators of human capital Graduates represent the single largest flow of human capital around the UK Human capital is fundamental to economic growth, innovation and productivity

3 Over-arching research questions What attracts students to study at their chosen university? What affects graduates locational decisions? - Quality of life - Quality of university - Economic and labour market capacity What impact does this have on the socio- economics outcomes of cities?

4 Research strand (1) City level demographics - Demographics (who lives there) - Quality of life - Economics - Labour market capacity Neighbourhood statistics and census data

5 Research strand (2) Map out flows of (primarily) young people within the UK, at the city level from; - Home to university - University to work HESA Graduate Destinations data

6 Cities in socio-economic space

7 City Demographics: university cities…. similar ethnic mix larger migrant populations more atheists higher shares of economically active graduates poorer average performance for children at Key Stage 2 greater polarisation in labour markets higher crime rates

8 City Economics: university cities have….. lower business density lower business start-up rates less knowledge based business activity (than the best non-university cities) higher Gross Value Added (GVA) per capita

9 General points Cities with higher graduate shares maintain them over time and there is little evidence of ‘catch up’ for cities with small graduate populations And it is hard to improve a cities rate of knowledge based business activity, if it starts from a low base, and catch up with the best performing knowledge cities

10 Knowledge industries and graduates

11 Dynamics of graduates in cities

12 Graduates and quality of city life

13 Graduates and city performance

14 Summary The presence or not of a university (or universities) in a city does not appear to fundamentally change a cities economic and social outcomes as much as geography. As such, persistent regional differences in the UK far outweigh the contribution of universities in improving social and economic welfare at the city level. However, graduate population shares do matter. This suggests that graduate retention is a key issue in the economic development of UK cities Although university cities do fare better on GVA per capita, there is evidence that these cities are more polarised economically What is of great concern is that cities that start from a low base on any measure of economic performance will find it immensely difficult to improve their relative position regardless of whether they have a university or not!

15 … thank you


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