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3,890 new graduate start-ups in 2015/16

Results of 2015/16 HE Business and Community Interaction Survey released

For the first time the full results of the HE Business and Community Interaction (HEBCI) Survey have been published online free of charge. The publication is released as part of HESA's Open Data Strategy and shows the extent to which higher education providers are embedded in the economy and communities of the UK. The survey of all publicly funded HE providers includes data on the income and intellectual property generated by HE providers, the spin-offs and start-up companies started by staff and graduates, and information about community and cultural activities.

Spin-offs and start-up companies

This year's results show that 3,890 graduate start-ups were formed in 2015/16, along with 150 spin off companies with some HE provider ownership, and 106 new social enterprises. There were over 13,500 new and existing spin-off and start-up companies active during 2015/16 employing over 44,000 people.




See Table 4b of HE Business and Community Interaction Survey 2015/16 for the spin-off and start-up statistics for all UK HE providers.

Income from business and community interactions

The income of HE providers from business and community interactions included £1.3 billion from collaborative research involving public funding and £1.2 billion from contract research. HE providers earned a further £1.7 billion from intellectual property, consultancy contracts, CPD courses, regeneration and development programmes, and facilities and equipment related services.




See Part B of HE Business and Community Interaction Survey 2015/16 for the further income data for all UK HE providers.

HEBCI Publication

HE Business and Community Interaction Survey 2015/16 contains the full results of the survey for every HE provider. The publication includes the qualitative responses from Part A of the survey, as well as quantitative data from Part B. The complete publication is available to download free of charge under a Creative Commons licence from

Notes for Editors

  1. Press enquiries should be directed to:
  2. The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCI) is the main vehicle for measuring the volume and direction of interactions between UK higher education providers and business and the wider community. The survey collects information on the infrastructure, capacity and strategy of providers, and also numeric and financial data regarding third stream activity (that is, activities concerned with the generation, use, application and exploitation of knowledge and other university capabilities outside academic environments, and distinct from core activities of teaching and research).
  3. HEBCI data is collected from all publicly funded higher education providers in the UK, plus the University of Buckingham, which is a privately funded HE provider. The 2015/16 HEBCI data covers 162 HE providers (132 in England, 8 in Wales, 18 in Scotland and 4 in Northern Ireland).
  4. In the charts above, figures for the 2014/15 financial year are those reported in the 2015/16 HEBCI return.
  5. Some variations in the data between years may be due to availability of information from independent spin-off and start-up companies, and changes in providers’ reporting practices.
  6. See HEBCI Definitions for explanations of the terms used in this press release.
  7. See Data Intelligence Notes for any known issues with HEBCI statistics. Where errors in HE Providers’ data submissions are discovered after collection, their data is suppressed and removed from totals.
  8. HESA cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived from the data by third parties.

About HESA

HESA is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK. Our experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education in order to support the strategic aims of our users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. We are a charity and a company limited by guarantee. We operate as an independent organisation, working in close partnership with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.

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