press release
Published: 04 May 2020

University’s proud social impact in Surrey and beyond – before and since Covid-19

The University of Surrey has published its annual social impact report, measuring its enormous contribution made to local, national and global communities over the last year.

Community Outdoor Team

The report, Measuring up 2018-19 (PDF), looks at data and other outputs to highlight a growth in the University’s social, cultural and economic impact.

Although the period covered by the report finished before the emergence of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the University is also today highlighting the many ways in which its staff and students have been working locally, nationally and internationally to support our communities in these difficult times.

Key findings in the report include:

  • An estimated 17,800 jobs supported across the UK by the University and its associated Surrey Research Park.
  • A gross value added of £1.75bn generated across the UK by the University and Surrey Research Park. This means that for every £1 the University and Research Park receive in income they give back £6.41 to the UK.
  • 85,130 people attended public events held by the University in 2018-19.
  • 18,200 school and college students took part in Widening Participation and Outreach activities in 2018-19.
  • A 6% reduction in carbon emissions was achieved alongside 12m litres of water being saved on campus through sustainability initiatives.

Since the report was completed, the University of Surrey has made significant contributions on a local, national and global scale to the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

A summary of the wide-ranging contributions made is illustrated in this infographic (PDF) – ranging from practical support and PPE supplies for the NHS and other local health and care providers to vital research on vaccine development and testing.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “We are proud of the key role we play in supporting communities locally, nationally and internationally throughout the last year and more recently over the Covid-19 pandemic period.

“However, no one could have foreseen the scale of the global crisis emerged since we completed this report. I am immensely proud of the huge variety of ways in which our University community has come together in response. Our staff, students, alumni and partners have stepped up to these unprecedented challenges, proactively donating their time, specialist resources – including over 120,000 items of PPE – and professional and research expertise. Much of our effort is directly benefiting the community right here in Guildford and the county of Surrey. We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our local healthcare providers and key workers, and we will continue to provide assistance wherever we can.”

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