University adds $720 million yearly to Fraser Valley economy
Study shows that UFV’s presence supports 9,488 jobs in the region.
When the founders of the University of the Fraser Valley first petitioned for a post-secondary institution in their region in the 1960s, they believed wholeheartedly in the advantages that it would bring to their community. Now, a study of the economic impact of UFV on the Fraser Valley seeks to quantify those advantages in more tangible ways.
Emsi, an analytics firm that provides economic impact studies and labour market data to educational institutions all over the world, partnered with UFV last year to measure the effect the university has had on the Fraser Valley. Using data from the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the study demonstrates that UFV creates value from multiple perspectives.
First, the university benefits Fraser Valley businesses by increasing consumer spending in the region and supplying a steady flow of qualified, trained workers to the workforce. The study estimates the total value of UFV operations spending, research spending, student spending, and alumni living and working in the region adds $720 million annually to the local economy and is responsible for supporting 9,488 jobs in the Fraser Valley.
In addition to evaluating UFV’s economic impact, the study also analyzed the return on investments made in UFV by its students, taxpayers, and society in BC. The analysis found that UFV enriches the lives of students by raising their lifetime earnings and helping them achieve their individual potential. For a total investment in 2019-2020 of $216.8 million, that includes out-of-pocket expenses and forgone time and money, those students will receive $360.1 million in higher future earnings throughout their careers because of their UFV education. That’s an annual average return of 10.8% on a UFV student’s investment.
The university also benefits provincial taxpayers through increased tax receipts, and society as a whole in British Columbia by creating a more prosperous economy and a higher standard of living. The study found that for every dollar invested by taxpayers in UFV, they will receive four dollars in return, while society in BC gains $6.60 for every dollar while UFV students remain in the provincial workforce.