£6 billion economic impact of Scotland’s flagship college

A report published today (Wednesday 16 December) underlines the major contribution which City of Glasgow College makes to both Glasgow and Scotland’s economies.

As a result of the college’s activities, Scotland’s economy will be £6 billion better off in present value terms over the long term, equating to some £56,000 per graduate.

The report – published in partnership with the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde – sets out the economic impact of the college in Scotland.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Executive at City of Glasgow College, said:

“This is the first time the economic impact of City of Glasgow College has been revealed with the college’s activities resulting in Scotland’s economy being £6 billion better off over the long term. We did this work with Fraser of Allander because it is important to understand the scale and impact of the asset Glasgow has in its midst in the form of our Super College.

“We employ some 1,450 staff, who help over 16,000 students gain a nationally recognised qualification every year. In 2018-19 alone our total expenditure supported 750 jobs beyond our own staff.

“Colleges are critically important civic and economic anchors for their local and regional communities. They provide vital lifelines to education and training for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our society, providing a bridge to employment, technological and professional qualifications, and to personal growth. 

“The current global pandemic has had devastating health consequences and a shocking impact on jobs and businesses. However, the college sector has delivered before in times of economic crises and we stand ready to once again play a pivotal role by being the beating heart of Scotland’s socio-economic recovery.”

Mairi Spowage, Deputy Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, said:

“City of Glasgow College is a significant contributor to the Glasgow economy.

“But, the economic footprint of the College expands beyond the Glasgow region and its investment supports economic activity and jobs across the whole of Scotland, both directly and indirectly.

“Our analysis finds that as a result of eight graduate cohorts since 2011 the Scottish economy will be over £6bn better off in the long run, leading to a net boost to Scottish Government revenues of around £1.6bn.”

The Fraser of Allander report highlighted the college’s expenditure and capital investment as having a substantial impact:

  • In 2018/19, the College’s total expenditure supported 750 jobs over and above its own staff, and a further £36 million in GVA across Scotland.
  • The College’s transformational capital expenditure programme – including its new City campus completed in 2016 – has helped to support an average of 950 jobs each year, adding £414 million in GVA over the eight-year period from 2011/12 to 2018/19.

The report also showed though that the greatest gains are achieved through the contribution of the college’s graduates. As a result of the eight graduate cohorts covering the same period:

  • The Scottish economy will be better off by over £6 billion in present value terms over the long term – or £56,000 per graduate.
  • Over the long term these graduates will boost public sector revenues by around £2 billion (in present value terms) – leading to a net boost to the Scottish budget of around £1.6 billion (in present value terms).