Universities make significant contribution to the economy - Archibald
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has said universities make a significant and important contribution to the economy.
Speaking on analysis for the Russell Group of universities, of which Queen’s University is a member, the Party's Further and Higher Education Spokesperson said:
"Analysis by London Economics for the Russell Group showed the activities carried out in 2015/’16 by the 24 universities which comprise the Russell Group, will generate £86.8 billion.
"To put this in context, this is eight times the annual block grant of the north.
"Research alone will contribute £34.1 billion through helping to develop new technologies and driving innovation.
"Another finding shows that a student who began study as an undergraduate at one of these institutions last year will generate an additional £177,000 of economic benefit over their working life compared to a contemporary who left formal education after A' Levels.
"These findings show the significant financial contribution universities make, directly and indirectly, to the economy. This is important in the context of the debate about the role of universities and how they are funded.
"It is also a reminder of the importance of ensuring institutions have access to research and innovation funding and can continue to collaborate effectively with EU partners amid the debacle of the Brexit negotiations.
"Sinn Féin continues to make the case for designated special status for the north which would protect our institutions against the negative impact of Brexit."