As educational institutions begin to be increasingly recognized as important drivers of social and economic progress of the regions in which they operate, the Economics Centre of the Nottingham Business School and the UK-based independent member organization, the Association of Business Schools (ABS), have jointly spearheaded a study which sheds light on the regional impact of business schools in the UK.

Based on case studies involving four leading schools in the region - Aberdeen Business School, London Business School, Cardiff Business School and Nottingham Business School - the study concludes that business schools make a large contribution to their local and regional economies in a number of ways. These include supply of talent to the local job market, development of skills in local and regional workforces through professional courses, improvement of business productivity through consultancy projects and attracting students and staff from across the world to the area.

The report estimates that the 100-plus business schools in the UK [those categorized by the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA) as offering Business and Administrative Studies (BAS)] could well generate £2 billion in direct income  for the UK economy (through tuition fees and student spending), with a direct impact of some £7.5 billion annually. Added to this figure are the broader national and international impact, such as the enhancement of human capital and the international links which business schools promote through their teaching, research and consultancy activities.

Impact measures have been calculated on the basis of a number of parameters and linkages, such as money flows arising from business school students (tuition fees from domestic as well as international students, and student spending in local economy), business school expenditure in the local economies (employment creation and money injection) as well as special impact created through student placements, promotion of entrepreneurial ventures and business germination.

In respect of the individual schools studied, Aberdeen and Cardiff are estimated to have provided a boost of £100 million and £76 million annually to the Scottish and Welsh economies respectively. In the case of Nottingham Business School too, the study estimated an impact figure of around £76 million for the East Midlands economy.