The Wider Economic and Social Impacts of the Economies Exercise at Leeds
An exclusive and independent report compiled by Dexter Whitfield at the European Services Strategy Unit makes for sobering reading. The report models the local and wider economic effects of the university management’s Economies Exercise. The report measures the “direct, indirect and induced effect of the planned cuts by Leeds University on the local and regional economy and the wider implications for public finance.”
The report claims that the 20 million pound error in the 2008 financial plan raises “questions about the quality of forecasting and planning” at the University of Leeds (page 8). Accordingly, UCU suggest that the university management should consider clarifying this 20 million pound error and comment upon the “questionable quality of the University of Leeds’ financial forecasting and planning”.
The report claims that on the university’s own figures, the Economies Exercise could result in:
- Between 625-700 university job losses, based on cuts in the unrestricted budget
- A further loss of between 250-280 jobs in the Yorkshire and Humber regional economy, primarily in private sector suppliers and services
- A total UK loss of between 1,187-1,330 as a result of the Leeds University cuts
- If all universities in our region followed the 5%-10% budget cuts, there would be a loss of up to 5,823 jobs in the region
Interestingly, the report indicates that the University’s “short term finances are in relatively good shape,” and therefore raises questions about the need for the university management’s current course of action (page 6).
Accordingly, UCU suggest that the university management should consider and comment upon the potentially economically damaging effects of the Economies Exercise upon our city and region.
The report concludes that a world class university is one that gives “much greater attention to its economic and social impact on the neighbourhoods in which it is located and its role in the city and regional economy” (page 21).
Download the report here