Mon, May 20, 2024

Education generates big bucks in Georgia

Latest figures released by the University of Georgia show the multi-billion dollar impact it has on the Peach State.

A news release from the university said UGA’s economic impact in 2023 jumped to a record $8.1 billion. The figures released a year ago showed the university’s impact was $7.6 billion. The study measures the value of the school’s teaching, research, and public service.

Among the reasons for the growth, the university cited an increase in students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, public service and outreach programs, and robust research programs.

“The results of this study reflect the University of Georgia’s deep commitment, as a land-grant and sea-grant institution, to the state we call home,” said President Jere W. Morehead, in the release. “Our talented faculty, staff, and students are proud to contribute to the economic vitality of Georgia and its citizens.”

Professor Michael Adjemian in UGA’s Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics has led the study for the past five years. He said he uses only the easily calculable activities of teaching, research, and service.

“The most important factors that contributed to UGA’s growing economic impact were increases in the benefits that the university provides across each of its mission areas,” Adjemian said. “The impact of instruction grew by $219 million, research by $28 million and outreach by $161 million, year over year.”

Institutions of higher education have a major economic impact on states and local communities nationwide.

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) on its website said the universities have 20 million enrolled students and almost four million employees. That translates to $1 trillion in economic activity annually. The organization said institutions of higher education are the largest employers in 10 states.

That impact is borne out in the latest report from UGA, according to the news release.

“The economic drivers used to determine UGA’s impact on the state’s economy included the university’s education and training programs; spending by out-of-state and international students; external funding for teaching, research, and outreach programs; new products and businesses based on faculty inventions and discoveries; spending supported by out-of-state donors to the UGA Foundation; spending by out-of-state visitors to athletic events; and cost savings from improvements to business and government practices stemming from the university’s research and outreach programs.”

The new report focuses specifically on the University of Georgia’s impact on the state’s economy. Similar reports for Georgia’s 26 institutions of higher education are compiled by the University System of Georgia (USG).

The most recent report for Augusta University, including the Health Sciences campus and the Summerville campus, was released in August 2023.

It found Augusta University and AU Health, including the campus in Athens, are responsible for a $2.94 billion economic boost to the Georgia economy in 2022 and employed 21,250 people. Add to that the 8.6 million dollars and 69 jobs from campuses in Albany, Savannah, Brunswick, Rome, and Dalton.

That came at a time when student enrollment stood at 9,813. Since then, enrollment has surged to 10,564.

The full report from UGA is at: https://news.uga.edu/uga-economic-impact-hits-new-high-of-8-1-billion.

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