Supporting a buoyant economy 

The University is a primary agent of economic development in the region, and the past year has seen significant progress and success in this area. Our aim is to become Wales’ leading source of knowledge development and transfer in our acknowledged areas of expertise and a focus for a wide variety of meaningful and successful long-term partnerships within the higher and further education sectors as well as business, industry, the professions and the community.

Underpinning this aim are activities which have made a significant positive contribution to the development of the economy in the year. The University achieved an income of £7.1m from research and enterprise activities across the period from areas such as:

  • The Food Industry Centre (FIC) successfully delivering the Knowledge Innovation Transfer Exchange (KITE) programme, designed to help the Welsh food industry develop new products, markets and quality systems. Over the last year companies involved in this programme have reported an increase in turnover of more than £10 million as a direct result of the University’s support. 
     
  • The National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR) continuing to offer a complete service to industry from research and analysis through to design, manufacture and launch. PDR had a double success in the International ‘IF Product Design Awards 2011’. The design team won the awards in both Furniture & Home Textiles and the Industry & Skilled Trades categories.

  • The further development of the Centre for Personal & Professional Development (CPPD) brand as the University’s ‘one-stop shop’ for training and CPD, including the development of an accreditation service for businesses.

In addition, by providing education that promotes employability, the University continues to provide students with practical tools that will enable them to succeed. For example, opportunities are provided for students to engage with the world of work, through carefully structured and managed work-placement programmes. Currently, nine out of ten students on the University’s degrees entered employment or further study within six months of graduating.

It is recognised that the University has a major economic impact in three main ways: through our staff, our students and our purchasing power. With an annual expenditure of over £80 million, a staff of more than 1,000, and a global student population in excess of 13,000, the University is a significant economic presence in the region with an overall impact estimated to be in excess of £100 million per annum.