Publication Details

B. Braithwaite, G. West, C. Harvie & N. Hartgerink (2013). Leading locally, competing globally: measuring the University of Wollongong's contribution to economic and social prosperity. Wollongong: University of Wollongong.


In its 2013-2018 Strategic Plan the University of Wollongong (UOW) states its intention of playing a leading role in attracting "vitality and economic growth to Australia and our region". This report provides the first comprehensive assessment of UOW's performance against this goal. It details the findings of a six-month study undertaken by a research team from the Centre for Small Business and Regional Research (CSBRR), which sought to reliably and objectively describe the overall influence of the University of Wollongong (UOW) on economic and social prosperity in Australia, and in particular, its home region. After a brief background on the University's operations and its home region of Wollongong (defined by the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama), the report looks at the direct, indirect and induced impacts of the University's operations, student expenditure (excluding expenditure on UOW tuition already included in the first item), visitor expenditure and capital expenditure. The estimates are provided for the economy at the regional, state and national levels, using the 2011 calendar year as the basis for this analysis. This analysis is followed by an assessment of UOW's broader role in developing human capital, before examining the likely longer-term economic consequences of university research activity on the economy. Finally, looking beyond the purely economic benefits of UOW, the report provides a descriptive overview of the various non-pecuniary social and cultural contributions UOW makes to the communities within which it engages. This report highlights UOW's role as an economic driving force leading Australia's ninth largest city to a much-needed revitalised economic future. This study also highlights, however, the fact that UOW makes a broader contribution to society than mere dollars and 'sense'. Indeed, UOW represents invaluable national and state knowledge infrastructure, a fully engaged local partner, and an agent for positive economic, social and cultural change.

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