The HE-BCI survey showed that Wales´s universities continued to make significant contribution to the Welsh economy, often contributing to more than their expected share of business in the UK.
The report, written by Viewforth Consulting and commissioned by Higher Education Wales, found that £1 billion of the total figure comes from off-campus spending by students, while international students generate £400 million in export earnings for Wales.
Ursula Kelly, director of Viewforth and a visiting scholar in the department of economics at the University of Strathclyde, said it demonstrated the sector was “generating economic output, jobs, GDP and supporting communities across the country”.
Today a week-long campaign, called Welsh Universities – Driving Growth, will be launched at the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff.
According to 2007-11 figures, just five university spin-off companies were formed in Wales, compared to 70 in Scotland and 346 in England.
Leighton Andrews, the Welsh minister for education and skills, said that the Viewforth report contained “significant figures” and that the sector was “integral to driving the economy in Wales, supporting industry, research and innovation and generating employment”.