University of Ottawa: Economic powerhouse

Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Stephen Stuart

By Mike Foster

The University of Ottawa has a significant economic footprint and delivers substantial social, cultural and community benefits, says a new report commissioned by the University to assess its impact.

The Conference Board of Canada’s Impact of the University of Ottawa report concluded that the University’s spending on research and development, operations and salaries, together with its graduates’ earnings, contributes up to $7.4 billion per year to the Ottawa-Gatineau region, Ontario and Canada, while generating 29,500 jobs across the country.

Infographic on Our Impact on Canada

“I am proud to see that our investments in the last couple of years have had a positive impact on the region, province and the country. The growth shown by the figures in the report reaffirms the University of Ottawa’s commitment to research, innovation and development,” said uOttawa president Allan Rock.

With 161 research chairs and research partners worldwide, the University ranked third among Ontario universities in terms of research spending, with a total of $324 million in 2013.

The knowledge and skills of uOttawa graduates also boosts productivity and earnings: undergraduate degree holders earn an average of $56,596 per year and graduate degree holders an average of $69,400.

The report also highlighted the University’s leading role regarding francophone communities in Ontario, in Canada and around the world. By investing $62 million a year (half of which is provided by the provincial and federal governments) towards delivering bilingual higher education, it has become the world’s largest French-English university.

Six infographics showing the impact of the University of Ottawa’s research.

Here are other highlights from the report:

  • The University’s activities directly contributed over $1.5 billion of Canada’s GDP annually and its research spending amounts to nearly $2.6 billion per year of Ontario’s GDP between 1971 and 2013.
  • Social returns on University research spending were worth up to $958 million in 2015
  • uOttawa students spend $300 million a year in the national capital region
  • Spending by alumni in the national capital region generates and supports 9,250 jobs
  • At least 62 companies have been set up by University-connected entrepreneurs since 1996

An Economic Impact Study in 2012 valued the University’s annual impact to the Ottawa-Gatineau region at $4.12 billion.

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