University’s big plans for growth set to boost local economy

New and ambitious plans for the growth of the University of Sussex were unveiled this week.

The University’s strategic plan, Making the Future, outlines how Sussex will develop in the next five years in order to increase the global impact of its research activities and high-calibre graduates.

It sets out the goals for teaching, learning and the student experience; research and knowledge exchange; campus development; engagement with the community; economic and social impact; and operating sustainably.

And as the University grows, says the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing, so will the economy of Brighton and Hove, Sussex and beyond.

According to new research to be published this month (November 2013) by Oxford Economics, the University of Sussex already contributes £600 million to the UK economy, over two thirds of which goes into the local economy. It also supports jobs for more than 4,500 people across the south east region. These figures are set to grow as the University plans to increase student numbers from the current 13,000 to 18,000 by 2018.

The growth of student numbers will mean, in turn, more jobs, more custom for local businesses and services, new buildings and services and more link-ups with industry, technology and the creative arts around the world that will bring even more business to the University’s neighbours.

The University also plans to increases its turnover to £300m by 2018, which it will use to invest in further improvements to keep Sussex among the top two per cent of universities in the world.

A new campus masterplan, which is due to be submitted for outline planning permission in December (2013), sets out the developments that will accommodate the growing University community. The £500 million investment plans over the next five to ten years include:

  • A new science block with state-of-the-art facilities to support exciting new research in areas such as genetics, drug discovery, neuroscience and ecology
  • More on-campus student accommodation to house 40 per cent of Sussex students
  • A potential new sports centre and extension of the library
  • More environmentally sensitive buildings using green technologies

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, says: “Sussex has a worldwide reputation for excellence in learning, research and discovery. We’re dedicated to making a difference in the world. Reflected in that ambition is our vital connection with our local community. 

“The University benefits from Brighton and Hove’s unique and vibrant character, and the city benefits from the wealth, diversity and energy generated by our students, staff and collaborators.

“Brighton gave life to the University of Sussex, and as the University continues to thrive and grow, so it will continue to bring life to Brighton.”


Notes for Editors

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By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Tuesday, 19 November 2013