Economic Impact Assessment

We show people that your university is important.

What we offer

Capturing your story

At Open Impact, we offer bespoke analysis that goes beyond traditional metrics, providing universities with a comprehensive understanding of their economic footprint. From direct financial outputs to the broader impact in the local and national economies, our assessments are designed to capture the full spectrum of a university’s economic and social activity.

Whether it’s for strategic planning, engagement with local government or multinational companies, or enhancing funding applications, our assessments serve as a powerful tool in showcasing your role as a key economic player.

Our approach

We work with you to craft a report that meets your needs. We specialise in assessing the economic and wider impacts of universities. We have expertise in working with universities located in Mayoral Combined Authorities, universities who work with a single local authority, and those whose activities span several.

  1. Deep Assessment: We measure the full spectrum of your economic impact, capturing three key types of activity: direct, indirect, and induced effects. This comprehensive approach ensures a detailed and comparable assessment across institutions.

  2. Direct Economic Effects: We analyse your immediate economic contributions, including employment, student and visitor attraction, research funding, and knowledge exchange activities.

  3. Indirect Economic Effects: We evaluate the ripple effects of your university’s expenditure with local supply chains, which supports additional jobs and economic activity in the region.

  4. Induced Economic Effects: We assess the impact of your staff spending their wages in local businesses, which further generates employment and economic activity.

  5. Exchequer Impact: We calculate the total tax contributions resulting from your activities, including direct, indirect, and induced effects.

  6. Local Skills Economy: We assess if you are a net attractor of talent to the area, and your contributions towards key workers, business training, and engagements.

Powerful impact reports

Data: we know our numbers

Our analysis of impact on the regional and national economy is based on economic best practice. Accurate and authoritative measurements of your impact help reinforce your university’s local and national role as an anchor institution, serving society.

  • Methodological rigour: We utilise the latest UK-wide and regional economic data from official sources. This ensures accuracy and relevance in our assessments and transparency in our calculations.

  • Capturing nuance: We pay particular attention to the details: support for the local skills economy, contributions toward key workers, and business training and engagements. We also recommend a focus on widening participation to better contextualise the economic data.

  • University data integration: We work with you (without burdening you). We incorporate comprehensive university data, including staff numbers, income streams, student demographics, and expenditure, to accurately calculate economic impacts.

  • Understand your context: Every university is different. Your history, mission and local positioning frames our work. Where applicable, we review and pull out key statistics and headline messages from previous impact reports. This can support longer-term planning, and locate current impact in context and trend.

It’s good to tell stories

Your impact narrative should be positioned to contribute to wider regional and national government planning. Bespoke data analysis, tailored to your local geography, is an important foundation for this.

However, the most powerful impact reports combine data based on rigorous economic modelling with stories of your success. That’s what we specialise in compiling compelling case studies based on in-depth research – site visits, interviews, and even polling. We’ve written hundreds of case studies – for large universities, small and specialist institutions, groups of universities, and sector-wide and sector-specific.

We advise that any economic impact analysis is complemented by detailed case studies. How have communities benefitted and businesses grown because of your university? Detailed case studies allow you to tell the story of the significant impact you have.

Start today

Let us show people that your university is important. Email us today to learn more or start your economic impact assessment journey.


Open Impact is led by Dr. James Ransom and Dr. Richard Whittle, and supported by a team of experts working in UK higher education.

We’ve recently worked with Universities UK, Greater Manchester Universities and Yorkshire Universities on data-driven projects that help understand their impact and effectiveness.

Our work has been covered in the Telegraph and Wonkhe, and everywhere from Sunderland to Sussex, Durham to Dundee.

Open Impact Analytical Services Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales, number 14694902. Our registered address is Top Floor, Raven House, 29 Linkfield Lane, Redhill, England, RH1 1SS.