By tackling these important challenges, we will make a significant contribution to the local and national agendas which impact our local community:

  • Reducing the productivity gap by generating innovation-led growth and addressing the demand for skilled professionals, which will support emerging growth sectors and create the high value-add jobs which will retain our students in the city and attract businesses.
  • Levelling up and inclusive growth agenda by fostering inclusive growth within our community and local economy, making future-oriented education accessible to all, applying innovation and using the university’s expertise to tackle the social challenges and inequalities which limit people’s potential.
  • Local regeneration and place-making agenda – by being a key player in Birmingham regeneration programme, making a direct contribution to the East Birmingham Levelling Up Zone, fostering positive change to local community and economy.
  • Net Zero agenda and the overall transition towards a greener economy - by actively supporting businesses in adopting sustainable practices and business models to achieve net-zero emissions; undertaking world-leading research projects to drive innovation and develop cutting-edge solutions for a sustainable future and equipping students with the carbon skills and literacy needed.

In 2022-23, the principal impact channels outlined above show that Aston University’s total economic output was £1.42bn [Metro Dynamics]. This represents its impact on the national economy, measured as a combination of the university’s core operations (expenditure and salary payments), research, teaching, student expenditure, and student placements.

Two Electric Engineers at Aston


EBRI Employee in a hard hat


Artist impression of Birmingham Innovation Qaurter

"We are building a digital innovation powerhouse in the heart of Birmingham – a place where digital tech and health tech, the brightest talent, most exciting businesses and cultural institutions come together."

Projected 2030 contribution

Although the university already makes a significant contribution to the local and national economy, the 2030 strategy is an opportunity to do more. As the university continues to grow its operations, research outputs, and reputation – attracting more local and international students, creating the opportunity for more research and business partnerships, and continuing to grow its role as an anchor institution – there is an opportunity to increase economic contribution as well as drive the wider social benefits which are important to local communities.

Based on aspirational but achievable targets that the university has set for itself, an estimate of the potential impact by 2030 has also been calculated. The infographics illustrate the overall economic impact of Aston University and also the total economic impact that will be realised from the B-IQ, through our work in strategic partnerships and joint ventures with the city and private sector.

By 2030, if the university’s targets can be achieved, through the activity set out in this strategy, then Aston University’s economic impact could grow to £2.37bn by 2030, a growth of just under £1bn from the 2023 level described. A breakdown of the potential 2030 impact is shown.

The total economic output of Aston University has been estimated based on its effect on Skills, Jobs, Investment, and Gross Value Added (GVA); grouped under the following principal areas of impact:

Core operations:

  • Direct output of the university based on net income.
  • Indirect impact on the wider economy and supply chain as a result of procurement spend and staff wages spent in the economy.

Research and innovation:

  • Value of funded research (with an impact multiplier applied).
  • Turnover of businesses supported by the university including graduate start-ups, formal spinoffs, and social enterprises.


  • Wage premia experienced by graduates (compared to non-graduate baseline).
  • Student Expenditure:
  • Student expenditure in the economy (50% of spending attributed to the University).


  • Output contributed by students to the businesses in which they are working (assumed to be 1/3 that of standard output per worker based on the sector in which the placement is occurring).

Aston University's economic impact by area 2023 - 2030


  • Teaching - Increasing investment from £556.6m to £948.8m

  • Research and innovation - Increasing investment from £93.1m to £182m

  • Student expenditure in the economy - Increasing from £377.1m to £642.7m

  • Placements - Increasing investment from £37.8m to £64.5m 

  • Core operations - Increasing investment from £359.8m to £538.7m

  • Total - Total investment increasing from £1.42bn to £2.37bn



  • Gross value added - Projected value increased from £532.1m to £864.3m

  • New jobs created - Projected value increased from £185m to £317.1m

  • Investment -Projected value increased from 107.2m to £181.9m

  • Increased skills - Projected value increased  from £594.5m to £1,013m. 


Aerial of birmingham city centre from campus


Enabling strategies

  • Education strategy
  • Research strategy
  • Enterprise strategy
  • College strategies
  • International strategy


  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) / THE GPA Ranking
  • Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)
  • International Reputation - QS World University Ranking
  • International Reputation - Times Higher Education Ranking
  • International Reputation - Times Higher Education Impact Ranking
  • National Reputation - Guardian
  • National Reputation - The Times / Sunday Times
  • Number of revenue generating business partnership agreements
  • Number of community partnership agreements
  • Number of revenue generating international partnership agreements
  • Number of commercial / corporate Joint Ventures (JVs)
  • Number of active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
  • Digital inclusion - Digital Skills Academy provision
  • Health equity - Health Services Hub community access to clinical services on campus (external, staff, students).
Birmingham Innovation Quarter Artists Render



The education provided by the university enables students to become more productive employees after graduation. Graduates are also more likely to be employed than those without a degree.

The placements offered by the university both provide important experience for students which boosts likelihood of employment after graduation as well as contributing positively to the local economy and business productivity.

  • £ generated from graduate wage premium (net of tuition fees).
  • £ generated from placements by industry sector.

Research and innovation: The university and its partners generate positive impact through research and commercialisation. The university also leverages industry investment in RD&I to further boost these benefits.

Direct employment and operations: The university as an employer is home to hundreds of high value, high impact jobs. University operations contribute capital expenditure in the local economy

  • £ generated from university operations (income net of expenditures).
  • £ generated from research and commercialisation.
  • £ leveraged industry investment in RD&I.
  • No. high value jobs created.
  • £ generated from direct jobs.
  • No. indirect jobs created.
  • £ generated from procurement spend.

Induced employment generated by local spend: The university’s procurement of goods and services, as well as student expenditure in the local economy, support a large number of jobs in the local economy and supply chain.

Businesses turnover:
Business supported directly by the university including student/staff start-ups, spin-offs, and social enterprises contribute significantly to the economy through their activity, employment, and turnover.

Ongoing expansion of the university in Birmingham and elsewhere is creating commercial and workspace, supporting local economic growth significant capital investment.

  • sqm commercial space created.
  • £ capital investment in placemaking.
  • No. induced jobs created.
  • £ student expenditure in the local economy.
  • £ staff expenditure in the local economy.
  • £ turnover generated by firms supported by the university.