Universities Driving the Economy in North Rhine-Westphalia

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Universities Driving the Economy in North Rhine-Westphalia © University of Bonn/

Universities Driving the Economy in North Rhine-Westphalia © University of Bonn/ Volker Lannert .

NRW’s universities are multiplying the federal state’s net contributions by a factor of four

Based on conservative calculations, every single euro that North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) provides to its universities as core funding generates ¤4.01 in value. This is the main finding of a study that Dr. h.c. Lambert T. Koch, Chairperson of the Rectors’ Conference in NRW, officially presented to Ina Brandes, its Minister of Culture and Science, earlier today.

The study suggests that, from the net contribution of some ¤3.2 billion that they received from the NRW government, the federal state’s universities generated total value added of nearly ¤13 billion in the year under review (2019). This means that the universities contribute 1.5 percent to gross value added in the state. In addition, they are responsible-directly and indirectly-for over 175,000 jobs across NRW and thus generate an overall income effect worth ¤12.3 billion. There are also positive consequences spanning several years that cannot be expressed in monetary terms, such as the development of innovations through the transfer of applied knowledge from universities to society, business and industry. These effects will continue to multiply as the years go on.

University of Bonn on a par with DAX companies

Less than a month ago, the University of Bonn published its own study on its "economic footprint" within the city and the wider region. Among other things, this found that one in every 25 jobs in the city is linked to the University and every 40th euro in gross value added is generated by it.

Study director Christian Helmenstein explains: "The University of Bonn was responsible for roughly ¤700 million in total gross value added in 2019, the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic. That represents one out of every forty euros of gross value added generated in Bonn." One in every 25 jobs in Bonn is also linked to the University according to the study. "Besides its own 7,500 employees, the University of Bonn also secures almost 10,700 jobs in total throughout its network of suppliers and service firms," the economist adds. "This puts it on a par in the city with the leading DAX-listed global corporations Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post." Because a particularly high percentage of its staff are university graduates, he suggests, the University of Bonn also delivers above-average incomes-a key factor in purchasing power. "The University’s ecosystem is responsible for every 25th euro generated in Bonn," Helmenstein explains.


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