UCD generates €1.3 billion a year, report says

Senior UCD staff give 14 days unpaid public service a year, according to consultants

 Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

 

Over 1,500 staff at University College Dublin gave an average of 14 days each towards unpaid public service activities in the last academic year, according to a report on the university’s economic and social impact.

The study, carried out by Viewforth Consulting for UCD, estimates that the institution and its students generate €1.3 billion annually in economic output in Ireland, supporting 8,914 jobs.

This is more than three times its income of €421 million, half of which comes from the exchequer.

The report, entitled ‘Delivering Impact: The Economic, Cultural and Social Impact of University College Dublin’, comes as third-level institutions step up their campaign for increased public investment to deal with growing student numbers.

UCD is also seeking to expand its revenue base through philanthropy and deepening links with its alumni.

Among the findings are that staff contributed at least €10 million annually, in “a conservative estimate”, towards local, national and international communities in addition to core teaching, research and administrative work.

This was based on figures showing 1,587 UCD staff in academic research and senior administration posts contributed over 22,000 pro bono days to public service activities in the academic year 2013-14.

In determining the total economic output, the consultants looked at where revenue had been spent in 2012-13, calculating that the purchase of goods and services by the university and its employees generated secondary output of €429 million.

This was added to UCD’s revenue, or “direct output”; along with the personal spending of the university’s over 25,000 students (€448 million), giving a total output generated of €1,298 million.

The “value added” to the economy was calculated as the equivalent to 0.35 per cent of GDP in 2012.

The report, which was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny with UCD president Andrew Deeks, incorporated a series of case studies highlighting the broader impact of the university.

These included the development of UCD Volunteers Overseas, which places around 125 students each year on education, housing and health care projects in countries such as Haiti, India, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Uganda. Since 2003 it has placed 12,900 children in education programmes and donated 570 computers to over 20 schools.

Some 800 people have been employed annually by local partners, 335,200 meals have been provided all of which has an estimated social economic value of just under €800,000.

Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact said, “This report demonstrates that as well as the significant financial contribution UCD makes to the Irish economy, the work we undertake also has a substantially broader social and cultural impact.”

DCU carried out a similar exercise recently, estimating that its €148 million in revenue generated a secondary output of €130 million from spin-off activities.