Study outlines numerous benefits of university in downtown Brampton

In November, Brampton Committee of Council presented an economic impact study for a university and centre for education, innovation, and collaboration (CEIC) in the downtown core. The venture will be in partnership with Ryerson University and Sheridan College.

In the early stages of Brampton submitting its proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) as a viable location for a new university in 2015, city council created the “Blue Ribbon Panel.” The group, comprised of industry, government, academic and community leaders, was tasked to provide a realistic and achievable work plan and financial figures for a university campus in Brampton.

With the support of consulting firm, urbanMetrics inc, the study has concluded that construction and operation of a university and CEIC would maximize the full potential of the downtown area, as well as having numerous other benefits.

“This report confirms why we’ve been pursuing a new university,” said Mayor Linda Jeffrey. “In addition to the economic benefit, a new university campus in our city will have significant, transformative impacts on the entire community.”

Based on a 5,000-student university, campus construction will create 3,150 direct and indirect full-time jobs with an economic output (the total value of all goods and services produced) of almost $700-million. Local and regional governments would benefit from additional tax revenue.

Once operational, the university will result in 1,925 direct and indirect full-time jobs annually with an economic output of over $300-million. The study estimates that the CEIC would have 2.3 million annual users, including almost 200,000 from outside Brampton.

Student and visitor spending for the university will generate an economic output of almost $54- million along with 310 direct and indirect full-time jobs annually.

Developmental benefits for the city are numerous. Reduced “brain drain,” which occurs when young people leave to pursue educational and career objectives and community growth through innovation and collaboration are among such benefits. As well, the city would benefit from decreased commercial vacancy, an increase in business ventures as supported by the CEIC, and an enhanced reputation and cultural base for the community.

Enhanced quality of life will also result from the availability of more affordable education options closer to home and a reduction in commuting time, which in turn allows more time to be spent with friends and family.

“We are committed to continue to bring a new university, and work with all our partners for increased growth and opportunity,” added Jeffrey. A formal announcement by the province on further plans for the new university is expected in early 2018.

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Photo credit: City of Brampton public images gallery

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