In this series looking at our Economic Impact Studies (EIS), we have shown how we go about calculating the impact of an education institution. In Part 1 we looked at how we conduct an investment analysis for learners, and then in Part 2 we showed how this is then done for society and taxpayers. In Part 3 we wrote about how we calculate the impact of an institution in terms of staff and learner expenditure, and in Part 4 we looked at how the biggest figure in the EIS — Added Workforce Skills — is calculated.
However, as we never tire of saying, the EIS is not just meant to be a way of quantifying a college’s or university’s economic impact; it is also meant to serve as a means of opening up a variety of opportunities for the institution. Think of it like this: if you have a set of figures in front of you which plainly show the economic value of your institution, why wouldn’t you want to showcase that value to as many stakeholders as possible?
Below are three of the major ways in which institutions can take advantage of their EIS to bring about further benefits.
EIS for Funding
One of the most important uses of the EIS, given the current policy environment, is in the realm of funding. If an institution has been shown by their EIS to be economically vital to the local and regional economy, this can be used to make a compelling case for their receiving increased funding.
Perhaps the best example we have seen of this is at East Durham College, where the results of the EIS were used by the College as part of their bid to secure £10,000,000 in funds for campus redevelopment. According to the College’s Principal, Suzanne Duncan:
“The fact that we were able to quantify our value meant that we could show both the County Council and the LEP just how valuable the College is to the community. And of course this then allowed us to present the case of how much more value we could bring to the local economy with a redeveloped campus.”
You can read the full case study by clicking on the image.
EIS for Engagement
Another potential use of the EIS is as a starting point for discussions with local stakeholders. A good example of this was the discussions which were organised by Sheffield City Regional College Group after our collective impact study found that the ten colleges in the Sheffield City Region collectively contribute £1.8 billion to the region. Over two events, the group invited a number of key stakeholders to discuss the findings, including local employers, funding bodies, a representative from the LEP, and many more. As I commented at the time:
As a wider part of EMSI’s work in supporting the economic development of regions, it is fantastic that the Sheffield City Region Colleges are being so proactive in engaging with the wider economic community by disseminating the results of their group impact study.
To read more, click on the image.
EIS for Marketing & Promotion
One other extremely valuable use of the EIS results is in marketing and promotion. As we have shown throughout this series, our EIS calculates the impact an institution has on a variety of stakeholders, including employers, learners and the local community. Armed with these results, the institution therefore has a lot of credible evidence of the great benefits it brings to the lives of a number of people — evidence which can be used in a number of marketing initiatives.
One great example of an institution that is doing this is Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College. Taking the results of the study we did for them, they have produced a really cool infographic (which you can see by clicking on the image) to simply and effectively tell the story of the value the College is having, and this is being used in a number of ways to promote the College to the local community.
We hope this series has been useful. If you would like to discuss how our EIS can help your college or university, contact Andy Durman at firstname.lastname@example.org