U of A alumni pay off

By Zainab Takuma

University of Alberta professors Tony Briggs and Jennifer Jennings recently published a report called “Uplifting the Whole People: The Impact of University Alumni Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship” showing the huge economic impact of U of A alumni.

According to the report, U of A alumni collectively founded over 70,000 active organizations as of 2012 that generate $348.5 billion a year — more than the gross domestic product of

“One-third (23,332) of the 70,258 organizations started by U of A alumni are non-profit or have a cultural, environmental or social mission,” said the report. “[The report] also shows that more than 77 per cent of U of A alumni have volunteered locally, and 17 per cent have volunteered outside Canada.”

U of A alumni also created more than 1.5 million jobs globally. Out of those jobs, 390,221 were in Alberta.

“These staggering numbers are further evidence that University of Alberta alumni drive the economy of Alberta and have global impact,” said U of A president Indira Samarasekera in a UAlberta article.

The study is based on a survey completed by 8,853 U of A alumni and is the first of its kind. Its aim was to develop a new way to measure a university’s total socioeconomic impact.

“Its design is to examine the educational experiences of alumni and how the experiences translate to uplift the whole people,” said the report.

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