A team of 24 of the UK’s large research-intensive universities Russell Group has unveiled plans to spend more than £9bn on 69 projects over a period of five years.
The investment will be used to build new student accommodation, medical research facilities, science labs, new office spaces, and resources to support start-up businesses and universities.
The funds will be generated from various sources, including government grants, income from research and teaching, private donations and borrowing.
Russell Group’s investment is expected to create gross value added (GVA) at a current value of £44.3bn for the UK economy in the next 25 years, according to economic research carried out by consultants BiGGAR Economics.
Additionally, it will create more than 98,500 jobs, including around 37,800 temporary jobs during the construction period, 45,000 permanent positions for operations and 15,700 permanent jobs under expansion of work undertaken by new facilities.
The research report also states that the project would generate £4.89 for the UK economy for every £1 invested.
The report said: "It is essential that Russell Group universities continue to invest in high-quality facilities that will deliver the kind of student experience and research environment expected of world-class universities."
Russell Group director general Dr Wendy Piatt said the group’s universities are engines of growth for the British economy.
"Not only do they lead the way in teaching and research, but they’re also a driving force behind the creation of new jobs, new opportunities for start-up companies and urban renewal in our cities," Piatt said.
"The government has recognised much of this contribution but we would urge them to step-up big capital investment in our universities. We will keep investing on behalf of our students and academics but the rest of the world are snapping at our heels and spending money to match their ambition. We must do the same."
Image: The western campus building at Leeds University of Russell Group. Photo: courtesy of Broadway Malyan Limited.