The economic impact of the higher education sector cannot be underestimated. Contributing £1.26 billion to the Scottish output, the sector accounts for 31% of total direct, indirect and induced economic activity generated by Scottish higher education institutions (Glasgow Economic Commission: The Economic Impact of Further and Higher Education, Fraser of Allander Institute).
The economic impact of higher education will in large part affect the Scottish labour force. Demographic trends indicate that there will be a significant increase in the number of graduates who enter the workforce. The projection shows an increase in the proportion of graduates in the Scottish workforce rising from 37% (2010) to 41% (2020) to 44% (2030). Clearly this will create a base of better educated, more skilled workers who will command higher wages and will also contribute to the economy by starting more businesses and being more productive. Graduate and graduate-premium wage impacts are also important. The long-term impact can equal up to a 4.2% increase in Scottish GDP (Glasgow Economic Commission: The Economic Impact of Further and Higher Education, Fraser of Allander Institute).
The latest statistics form the Annual Population Survey show that Glasgow has exceeded its projected graduate workforce in the city. In 2016 the percentage of Glasgow’s residents that were educated to a degree-level was 44.4%.