At a press conference at the Legacy Gallery on Yates Street

At a press conference at the Legacy Gallery on Yates Street

UVic economic impact hits $3.2 billion per year

The final figure underlining the University of Victoria's annual impact on B.C.'s economy was higher than Tony Eder expected it would be.

The final figure underlining the University of Victoria’s annual impact on B.C.’s economy was higher than Tony Eder expected.

As the university’s director of institutional planning and analysis, his office conducted the research and crunched the numbers to come up with an estimated $3.2-billion figure.

“It’s larger than we’ve seen in the past. Part of that is due to the extraordinary contribution of our university graduates and the way they spend their income in the province of B.C.,” Eder said. “But it’s also the importance of research. We always knew it was very important, but the magnitude of close to a billion dollars surprised us and impressed us.”

UVic’s yearly economic impact was revealed in a report released Monday.

The figure was broken down into five categories: direct spending by UVic;  student spending; visitor spending; increased income resulting from higher education; and impact of UVic research.

“It’s important every now and again to step back and take a look at the numbers to get a sense of what is the economic impact of having a university like ours in this region, and you can see it’s extremely significant,” said David Turpin, president of UVic.

Direct spending by the university accounts for $585 million annually. Student spending was calculated at $177 million, with visitor spending at $135 million.

Annually, the impact of UVic education of salaries in B.C. is estimated to be $1.27 billion. The impact of UVic research, development and innovation is estimated at $994 million.

Bruce Carter, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said direct spending from the university, students and visitors – a combined $897 million – has the greatest impact on Greater Victoria’s economy. UVic is a significant local economic driver, he said, comparable to tourism, shipbuilding and high-tech.

“When I describe (Victoria’s) economy, I say ‘We’ve got a tech sector worth roughly $2.6 billion, we’ve got a tourism sector north of $1.5 billion. Then we’ve got an eduction, and shipbuilding and repair sector that are both around $1 billion,” Carter said.

“(UVic is) a significant community force whose cultural, community and economic impacts go far beyond the campus boundaries,” Carter added.

“(The study) shows the absolute vital role that the University of Victoria plays in keeping our economy strong, vibrant and innovate; $3.2 billion in direct and indirect economy activity – that is remarkable,” said Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin.

“Clearly we are a university town. If you have any doubts, come on down on Thursday or Friday night downtown,” he joked.

Eder and his colleagues looked at other universities in the province to compare the numbers.

The University of British Columbia, as a much larger institution, has a greater impact on the economy, Edar said, but UVic and Simon Fraser University, which are of comparable sizes, have similar economic impacts.

The university’s economic impact in 1963-64, after its first full year in operation, was $6.3 million.

“What the study shows is that as a medium-sized institution, we punch quite high above our weight,” Eder said.

A full copy of the report can be found online at bit.ly/Ua4DDs.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

Local MP Elizabeth May says the public has a right to know the identity of the company that plans to operate the massive warehouse proposed for Sidney on airport lands but residents who want to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May says public has right to know identity of Sidney warehouse operator

Residents wanting to stop the project would probably have to go through the courts, said May

Bukwila by Art Thompson, set at the steps of Lansdowne campus’ Wilna Thomas Cultural Centre, has been welcoming students to campus since 1997. (Photo courtesy of Camosun College)
World-renowned artist’s legacy lives on at Camosun College

Art Thompson made untold contributions toward Indigenous education, art and advocacy

Did you know, according to the CRD, every person produces an average of 185–200 litres of wastewater per day? Here’s where most of it gets treated, at the new wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point in Esquimalt. (CRD image)
View Royal signs on to wastewater funding plan

Capital Regional District requesting to borrow up to $34.3 million to upgrade infrastructure

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read