Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX powerful economic contributor – generates almost half a billion to Nova Scotia economy

December 18th, 2017

Study reports for every $1 government invests in StFX, $15 return

An economic report released this month reveals that St. Francis Xavier University contributed $481 million in 2016-17 directly into the Nova Scotia economy.

The report called ‘The Economic Impact of St. Francis Xavier University on the Nova Scotia Economy’ examines the economic impact of the university. The report is comprised of five categories including institutional spending, student spending, visitor spending, alumni earnings premium, and research and knowledge.

See the report here: 

"One of the most useful aspects of this document is that it assembles data for different University activities into a single document," says Dr. Greg Tkacz, Professor & Chair of Economics at St. Francis Xavier University, and a co-author of the report. "When analyzed together, we can paint a more complete picture of the University’s economic impact on the region and province."

The report shows the university’s spending contributed over $104 million to the regional area in 2016-2017. In addition, more than $48 million flowing into the regional economy can be attributed to students and visitors to the university.

The value of a university education cannot be overlooked. As students graduate into the working world they are provided with higher wages known as the ‘Earning Premium.’ On average, university graduates with undergraduate degrees receive $14,000 to $39,000 more annually in wages, while those with above a bachelor’s level earned a gross earnings premium between $22,000 and $54,000 annually.

Research also impacts the local economy through the creation, dissemination and fostering of knowledge. The university was responsible for investing almost $86 million into the economy that was directly related to the primary functions of the university, teaching and research.

"Given the high proportion of out-of-province students attending StFX, the institution can be viewed as an “exporter of education services” — money flows into Nova Scotia in exchange for a university education, which helps boost Nova Scotia’s Gross Domestic Product," says Dr. Tkacz. 

"This flow of funds into the province is captured not only through student spending, but also through the high proportion of out-of-province visitors who travel to Antigonish for events such as convocation and the X-ring ceremony. All of these generate substantial economic spin-offs for regional service providers related to lodging, food and recreational activities."

The government’s investment into StFX is a good one. The government multiplier factor embodies the amount the government funds the university and how much the university contributes in return. In the case of StFX, for every dollar the government invested in the university, StFX provided $15 in return into the economy.

This comprehensive report estimates total economic impact by employing the recognized and formal economic impact reporting standards developed by the University of British Columbia, later utilized by many universities across Canada.  

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