The Impact Of The University Of Portsmouth On The Local Economy

Contribution to the Local and National Economy

Educational institutions are not just a centre to pursue the different kinds of studies; it is rather a significant asset to the local economy also. It may sound strange as to how institutions can contribute to the local economy. However, this is indeed a fact. Education in abroad countries is now also known as study tourism. Such educational centres are not just imparting education to aspiring candidates but, it is also providing employment solutions to both local and overseas personnel (Jackson, Johnson and Persico 2015). This study is purposefully aimed at understanding the impact of educational centres on the local economy. The purpose is being served with a study at the University of Portsmouth which has become an asset for the local economy of the United Kingdom.

The study finds some very interesting facts like the University of Portsmouth is now worth £1.1 billion to the British economy and contributes £476 million to the city itself ( 2018). It also employs 2,550 staffs which is why the university is now the fourth largest employer in Portsmouth. It supports approximately around eight percent jobs in the city ( 2018). Factors that have contributed to the local and national economy are consultancy & research services for businesses, student placements, the conduction of professional training, the provision of facilities, assistance for young businesses and industrial studentships ( 2018). These activities have jointly added £73 million worth to the UK economy. It also supported around 1,000 jobs ( 2018).  

Education contributes to the local economic growth which is why the University of Portsmouth has been a key asset for the local economy of both UK and the city itself. However, this may appear very strange to some that how education can boost the local economy. Education indeed boosts the local economy as it is a resource to the production of a skilled workforce (Roberts, Sykes and Granger 2016). On the other hand, there are labour shortages at the global level. The workplace is ageing and hence, they are left with little opportunity in the form of Millennials (Roberts, Sykes and Granger 2016). However, Millennials can only be productive if they have the proper education in them. This is where the role of education becomes more evident. Universities as such University of Portsmouth can contribute to the economic betterment. There are ample of reasons that explain why such universities are important for the local economy. One of such factors is the market value that those universities carry (Lusardi and Mitchell 2014). The market value is due to various additional factors like the infrastructure in regards to learning & other facilities, quality of educators, strict compliance to disciplinary related policies, technological advancement, the standard of human resource management, previous performances and others (Lusardi and Mitchell 2014).

Factors Contributing to Economic Development

The aforesaid facts in regards to factors which help educational centres to contribute to the local economy can also be the basis of analysis for the University of Portsmouth to find its unique selling points. The University of Portsmouth has an infrastructure which is very bigger and accommodates not less than around 2,550 staffs ( 2018). In this way, the university is providing a direct employment opportunity in the Portsmouth city. In addition to the employment, they have also been active with some other activities in recent times. They are taking part in other works as well which are being conducted for the benefits of the local economy. The University now also takes part in the various kinds of strategic initiatives that are being designed to improve the economic status of the city ( 2018).

One of the biggest contributions of the university has been the production of a workforce that supports the local economy. They have quality educators who help aspiring students to succeed their domain with good grades and knowledge skills ( 2018). In doing so, they are actually gifting a collection of skilled professionals to the city and the nation. Additionally, they also train students on skills which are needed at the industrial level. It really helps them crack their interview just after completing their graduates and post-graduates. The regeneration is another asset that the University of Portsmouth has performed. They contribute to some physical infrastructural development which is a direct benefit to the local economy. They have developed structures like the Eldon Building and the proposed University Sports Centre ( 2018). In addition, they have made a cultural impact on the city through redeveloping the New Theatre Royal in 2014 ( 2018). In addition, the educational standard of the university has helped the centre to attract students from various parts of the world. As of which they had needed a physical infrastructure to provide accommodation to an increasing number of overseas students. Consequently, the leading commercial student housing developer found a place on the Portsmouth City Council. In 2014, a whopping investment £42 million were being made to build up a facility which could accommodate 800 overseas students ( 2018).

The use of innovation has also helped the University to support the local economy. The university has provided some commercial services to the city. Those few services are consultancy, contract investigation, and facilities & equipment hire. They have also supplied workforce related knowledge to the various businesses in the city. Such knowledge includes continued professional development (CPD), Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) and student placements. They have also allowed a license to external organizations for the construction of intellectual property at the university area. They have also supported the young businesses and tried to promote the growth ( 2018).

Innovation and Supportive Measures

The University of Portsmouth has also become a tourist attraction centre. Visitors come to this city which may not have visited the place if the University was not there. They come to attend the conferences and the events occurring in the University and by doing so, they also meet their friends or relatives studying in the university. Such visitors need the accommodation facilities. The University of Portsmouth provide them the required accommodation facility and thereby, it supports the local economy by boosting the local tourism in other ways ( 2018). They are also supporting the local economy through its study curriculum which is designed as per the local industry’s needs ( 2018). Moreover, graduate professionals soon after passing their grads and post-grades become eligible for relevant industries. This does not only help to reduce the unemployment rate but, it also adds values to the local economy.

Apart from such innovation they also do some other activities which indirectly impacts the local economy. They make significant expenditures on their staffs. In course of action, they are actually promoting the buying capability of per income capita which is indeed a very potential fact for the local economy (O’donoghue 2017). Additionally, such staffs will be motivated to do their duties with utmost attachment to it. Hence, production of qualified professionals will be more. Moreover, local industries will find more qualified graduate professionals which will reduce the rate of unemployment and also enhance the local economy. Qualified professionals are indeed an invaluable asset to an organization (O’donoghue 2017).

A professional development plan is one of the processes that they do on a regular basis and does it in accordance with the local industry’s preference for respective job positions ( 2018). They are training the students on industry-specific roles and responsibilities. This is not only helping the students to grow in confidence but, also acting as a mediator to numerous industries at the local place. Students will find this relatively easier after they have completed their grads and post-grads. They will be confident enough to crack the interview. On the other hand, employers will find solutions for labour shortages which are expected to grow in severity with the passage of time. In course of the action, they are actually increasing the placement ratio for the university. They are also making the jobs easier for employers as they will be able to get more graduates through campus visits and hence, the human resource management of the respective employer will find their job lot easier in a real crunch situation. Employers will have better chance to get a large number of professionals once they hire them through campus placement mode (Fernández-Esquinas and Pinto 2014). The company is actually supporting in an indirect way to the local industries and hence, the local economy. 

To conclude, this can be said that University of Portsmouth is not just a university but it is like a powerhouse which is delivering solutions to the local economy in various forms. They are delivering quality graduates to local employers. They are taking parts in social causes. They are doing infrastructural changes to support the local economy. They are not just identified as a reputed university but, they are a solution provider to economic challenges. They are supplying labours to local employers and thereby, helping the city and the country to reduce the unemployment rate. This is indeed a big boost to the local economy. They are also employing educators and hence, they are in other ways an employer to most people.


Fernández-Esquinas, M. and Pinto, H., 2014. The role of universities in urban regeneration: Reframing the analytical approach. European Planning Studies, 22(7), pp.1462-1483.

Jackson, C.K., Johnson, R.C. and Persico, C., 2015. The effects of school spending on educational and economic outcomes: Evidence from school finance reforms. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131(1), pp.157-218.

Lusardi, A. and Mitchell, O.S., 2014. The economic importance of financial literacy: Theory and evidence. Journal of economic literature, 52(1), pp.5-44.

O’donoghue, M., 2017. Economic dimensions in education. Routledge. 2018. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].

Roberts, P., Sykes, H. and Granger, R. eds., 2016. Urban regeneration. Sage. 2018. University brings millions to city economy | UoP News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Mar. 2018].

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