AECC University College Contribute to Sport and Exercise Economic Impact Report

AECC University College has played a role in the recently published Sport and Exercise Science (SES) Economic Impact report. The independent analysis, commissioned by The Physiological Society, GuildHE and economic agency Emsi, is the first of its kind to quantify the impact of sport and exercise science education on the UK economy.

Working with over 30 universities across the country, the report analyses Intuitions of all sizes which offer SES courses, and points to some of the contributions that this important field makes to the wider UK economy. It also goes on to highlight the large impact SES graduates have on the UK economy. SES students are entering the workforce with greater knowledge and skills, supplementing their discipline-specific knowledge.

Bridget Lumb, President of The Physiological Society and David Llewellyn, Chair of GuildHE collectively write: “This report is just the beginning. For both our organisations, it will form the bedrock of ongoing work within SES. Importantly, we hope that it will also serve as a useful tool for sport and exercise scientists and professionals in highlighting both the economic and social value of this field of research and study in the UK.”

Some key economic benefits outlined in the report are highlighted below:

  • In 2016-17 SES courses added £3.9 billion in income to the UK economy, with average salaries for SES graduates at £21,100 per annum after six months of employment.

Sport and Exercise Economic Report Figure 1

  • Overall, every £1 that students invest in their education in SES yields £5.50 in higher future wages.

  • Approximately 96% of SES students stay in the UK after graduating. Their enhanced skills and abilities bolster the output of employers, leading to higher income and a more robust economy.

  • Economic benefits of SES courses are not limited to students and businesses. Graduates will contribute £7.8 billion to society and the public purse, through higher earnings, added tax revenue and savings to public services.

  • Graduates and postgraduate researchers demonstrate critical thinking, attention to detail, interdisciplinary working, and in all four nations of the UK, are using these skills during and after their course to benefit their local communities and the UK as a whole.

Sport and Exercise Economic Report Figure 2

  • Sport, tourism, leisure and culture (26%) and Education and Research (15%) are shown to be two of the top SES student employers by total added income.
  • SES graduates are involved in disciplines as diverse as health education, research into the impact of exercise on physical and mental health, disease prevention, and post-operative outcomes.

  • Based on data provided by higher education institutions, supplementing national statistics from the Higher Education Agency, SES is identified as an area where diversity and inclusivity are both strong and are leading to positive outcomes. Case studied within the report highlight the contribution of SES courses in promoting women in sport and working with people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Sport and Exercise Economic Report Figure 3

  • The accumulation of SES students currently employed in the workforce amounts to £3.9 billion in added income in the UK’s economy each year. This is an annual impact and is equivalent to supporting over 146,300 jobs.

  • Staff and students undertake work that benefits local communities and make crucial contributions to wider society in areas as diverse as flexibility therapy to adventure tourism.

Within the report, AECC University College present a case study supporting the benefit to SES students. Titled ‘Gaining real-world experience from providing rehabilitation services’, the study explains one of many ways the specialist Institution delivers its goal of transforming lives through health sciences. Students on the BSc (Hons) Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation Science degree course are supported by the Institution’s clinical facilities, such as its on-site Physical Activity Centre. By helping with the centre’s work, like physical activity programmes including active walking and dance, students obtain practical experience working with patients who benefit from such activity. Under the supervision of Counsellors and Activity Leads, students gain the experience in delivering real programmes with real patients, while helping the community regain movement and independence.

Principal of AECC University College, Professor Lesley Haig commented: “It is great to be contributing to this significant report which details the importance of sport and exercise to the UK economy, and to also highlight AECC University College’s breadth of expertise in sport and exercise education and clinical provision. It is essential that our colleagues from across the sport and exercise sector join us in raising awareness of the benefits so clearly recognised in this report.”

The overall outcome of the report identifies SES as a vital scientific discipline, and one which plays an important role in the health and wealth of the nation. The report was launched in Parliament on Wednesday 15th May at a reception hosted by the Shadow Education Minister, Gordon Marsden MP. The event was attended by AECC University College Principal, Professor Lesley Haig and colleagues from the across the HE sector.

Discover more about AECC University College's undergraduate courses in Sport, Exercise and Health Science, or find out about our state-of-the-art clinics and services