Guest blog by Tim Fanning and David Marlow
If the Civic University Commission (CUC) Final Report is to genuinely change the type of impacts universities have on the places where they are located, universities will need to be prepared to deliver impact studies and analyses in new, more explicitly civic and bespoke ways..
The role of the university economic and social impact study
Economic and social impact assessments have become an important part of the evidence base for universities. This reflects the increasing economic importance of universities to their local areas in many locations over time, as well as growing expectations on the sector to harness and demonstrate its wider socio-economic value.
Last month Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England, gave a speech at the University of Sheffield asking if all economics, like politics, is ultimately local. The speech attracted attention for its discussion of whether we can capture and model detailed data on the economy at a far more local level. But there are two other points in the speech worth exploring further.
The first is recognition that higher education, alongside financial services and the creative industries, are sectors that ‘exhibit the highest economic complexity and thus potentially generate the highest value-added’. Economic complexity means the amount of embedded knowledge.