UNIVERSITY is expensive — but the University of Manitoba is giving back more than it’s taking.
The U of M has stirred $2.4 billion worth of economic activity in the province, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report that the university commissioned said. The $2.4 billion includes the university’s operating and research costs, its capital spending over the past five years and spending from visitors, students and the university’s spinoff companies.
The report, titled "The University of Manitoba: Economic impact analysis," looked at statistics from the university from 2014 through 2019. It found that the province’s jobs, tax base, tourism and economic development directly benefited from the university.
Broken down, every dollar invested in the University of Manitoba generated $1.50 in economic activity.
The university has produced $922 million in labour force income, according to the report’s findings. Furthermore, the university has produced $400 million in taxes for the government.
The university can be thanked for $1.4 billion in gross domestic product spending in the province, according to the report.
An estimated 161,146 people visited Winnipeg because of the U of M in 2017 and 2018. They came for conferences, university events like convocations, high school recruitments and to see students and faculty. The visitors spent more than $77 million in town.
The university contributes in other ways, the report said. It’s a research-intensive school, and researchers have focused on problems affecting Manitoba, such as crop enhancement and flood mitigation strategies.
The U of M has at least partially helped create nine businesses. These spinoffs are engineering, health, scientific research and development and energy businesses.
University of Manitoba president David Barnard said he knew the institution was affecting the province in a big way because it’s a research-intensive school.
"The university has, I think, for a long time been providing these contributions," Barnard said.
He said he was pleased with the clarity of the analysis.
PricewaterhouseCoopers looked at the university’s expenses from 2014 through 2019 when making the report. It also interviewed university staff and representatives of the school’s spinoff businesses, and looked at academic studies and economic studies of other universities.
The U of M is Manitoba’s largest university. There are more than 29,000 students. More than 66 per cent of university students in Manitoba went to the U of M during the 2016-17 school year. There were 9,412 staff at the university in March 2018.
Community Correspondent — Headingley
Gabrielle Piché is a community correspondent for Headingley. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org