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Higher Education Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction 2021/22

Data on universities' engagement in the economy shows upticks in income from research, consultancy and other sources, and a return to free public events.

View Higher Education Provider Data: Business and Community Interaction Higher Education 

The HE business and community interaction survey (HE-BCI) showed that HE providers’ income from collaborative research was £1.89billion in 2021/22. This represents a rise of 7% on the previous year.

The sector saw similar rises in income from contract research, CPD and continuing education, consultancy contracts, and services exploiting facilities and equipment.

Following large falls during the pandemic universities also increased their social cultural engagement with their local communities. In 2021/22 HE providers recorded a 91% increase in free performances and exhibitions, reaching nearly 10 million attendees.

New student start-ups increase

The HE-BCI survey also records the contribution of UK universities to the economy in the form of intellectual property and new businesses.

The 2021/22 survey recorded 4,735 new students start-up companies, the highest annual figure in the survey’s history. Active spin off companies, staff and student start-ups and social enterprises had nearly 100,000 full-time equivalent employees.

Universities’ intellectual property raised over £329 million of income in 2021/22 including £86 million from the sale of spin-offs.

Full results of the HE-BCI survey are published as open data on the HESA website. The survey is currently undergoing a major review to ensure that knowledge exchange data in UK higher education meets the needs of researchers and policymakers.


Press Release

Press Officer