Berlin universities as an economic factor

The regional economic effects of Berlin’s universities

Every euro invested in Berlin’s universities from the state’s public coffers results in two euros of added value for the capital. This was the result of our study on the regional economic effects of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Berlin University of the Arts. The study puts the value-added effect triggered by the universities in Berlin at around 1.7 billion euros. This value is twice as high as the approximately 840 million euros that flow into university budgets from public state funds. Which is mainly due to the fact that Berlin’s universities, by successfully attracting third-party funding – in 2011 it was around 347 million euros – cover a considerable part of their expenses from funds that do not come from the state coffers.  The 96,000 students at the four universities also boost the economy in the capital through their consumption. In 2011, their consumer spending amounted to around one billion euros.

Together, all four universities employed around 14,400 people in 2011. Another 10,400 or so jobs were created in Berlin’s economy by the universities’ demand for services and goods. In total, therefore, for every 100 people directly employed by the Berlin universities, a further 72 jobs are created in the Berlin economy. The taxation of the income created in this way secured tax revenues of around 118 million euros for the state.

These key figures make it clear that the four Berlin universities are not just a cost factor for the state, to be understood as a long-term investment in the region’s innovative capacity, but already represent a weighty economic factor in the short term. In addition to their excellent scientific achievements, their magnetic effect on young people from abroad and on top scientists, they are thus an important pillar for the successful development of the capital region.

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