University’s economic impact tops a half a billion dollars in GDP

News Release Release Date: January 21, 2016 10:10 a.m.

The University of Regina today released a new study by Economic Development Regina on the economic impact of the University in the Regina region and across the province. The study found that the University’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at $408 million for Regina and $542 million for the province.

“Our key priorities are to promote student success, produce research that has impact, and to serve our diverse communities,” said University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons. “This study shows that the economic impact of these activities is significant, leading to more than half a billion dollars in economic activity, lower unemployment rates, greater earnings, and a more productive and innovative economy.”

The University is more than an economic enabler; it is itself an economic engine with an impact equivalent to the size of a 10,000-person city. The University enterprise supports more than 6,400 jobs across the province, including more than 4,500 jobs in the Regina region. 

The study was prepared by Economic Development Regina Inc., as a part of its work to define the community assets that give Regina a competitive edge, which they call “The Regina Advantage”. It is these assets that contribute to growing our City and region and provide opportunities that advance economic prosperity for those who live, work, learn, visit and invest in the Regina region.

“The University of Regina is a critical asset to our economy, one of our ace cards if you will,” said Economic Development Regina Inc. President and CEO John Lee. "This study not only showcases the economic benefits but the significant role the University plays as part of the Regina Advantage. One that we believe is critical to attracting investment and growing our community.​"

In 2014-15, the University, directly and indirectly, contributed approximately $82 million to federal government revenues and $69 million to provincial government revenues through personal and corporate income taxes, taxes on unincorporated business profits, and sales and excise taxes. These revenues exceed what the University receives in total combined funding from the federal and provincial governments.

University of Regina students provide both immediate and lasting economic and social benefit to the Regina region. In 2014-15, 14,000 students (70% of whom are non-local) spent $200 million in Regina, supporting a further 900 jobs in the city and 400 jobs elsewhere in the province. The University’s nearly 2,000 international students spent close to $40 million in the city. The total GDP impact of student spending was $119 million in Regina and $151 million provincially.

The economic impact of University students does not end at graduation. University graduates have lower levels of unemployment, earn more money and pay more taxes over their lifetime than those with a high school diploma. The University’s 66,000 alumni play a key role in creating a more productive economy by increasing the supply of skilled labour and serving as role models in the community.

“I am proud of the positive impact our University has on Regina and across Saskatchewan,” said Timmons. “But I am even more proud that behind the numbers in this study are thousands of changed lives, enriched by the experience of higher education and helped in their success by the skills nurtured at our University.”

The University also helps connect Regina to the global economy. The University maintains academic partnerships with 110 educational institutions in 37 countries, 35 research partnership agreements with institutions worldwide, and attracts students from 120 countries. Since 2009, the number of international students at the University of Regina has grown by 113 percent. 

“The foundational pillars of our economy, whether manufacturing, agriculture, or servicing the oil and mining industries, depend on global markets,” said John Lee. “The relationships built with other countries through the University are important links in doing business with those countries”

Modern, prosperous and sustainable economies celebrate and leverage their universities for social and economic benefit, and the Regina region is enhanced by the presence of the University. Globally connected and locally committed, the University of Regina is a vital pillar of the Regina region’s economy.

To view the full report visit

About Economic Development Regina Inc.

Economic Development Regina Inc. (EDR) is the economic development agency for the City of Regina and region. EDR provides leadership to the community to support industry growth and diversification through retention and expansion of existing business and encouraging investment, development of industry and tourism with focus on the key-growth sectors of the economy in the Region. In collaboration with key stakeholders, we work to identify, develop and promote opportunities that advance economic prosperity for those who live, work, learn, visit and invest in the Regina region and ensure the Regina region offers a vibrant and diversified economy for investors is a positive destination experience for visitors and offers a high quality of life for residents.


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