BU’s Total Impact

Brandon University provides an annual economic impact of more than $417 million to Brandon and area.

Brandon University is a significant economic driver of the city and is responsible for more than $417 million in economic activity in Brandon and Westman every year. The presence of Brandon University has also created 927 jobs in the province.

As well, Brandon University generates an ongoing strong and positive impact on community growth and development, partially through the education of engaged, contributing members of society.

While an economic impact analysis provides a full and quantitative analysis that enables Brandon University’s economic value and contributions to be compared to other institutions and across different sectors of the economy, the social and cultural contributions are also crucial facets of the University.

Other University reports, including the BU Academic Plan, and ongoing announcements speak to these broader societal contributions.

Economic Impact

This report estimates the economic impact of Brandon University. Economic impact refers to the change in the economy as a result of the University’s existence. Typically, it is measured through direct economic impact, which is the initial spending or dollar value input into the economy by the university. Indirect spending occurs when the initial expenditures are spent again by the recipients (university employees) and businesses. Induced impacts occur when those businesses make their own purchases and hire employees who also spend salaries and wages throughout the local economy. This chain of direct, indirect and induced spending continues with subsequent rounds of additional spending gradually diminished through savings, taxes and expenditures made outside the region or province. This report calculates the economic impact of Brandon University using two commonly used economic impact assessment methods: the Sudmant Method and the Canadian Input/Output (I/O) Model.

The Sudmant Method calculates the economic impact of Brandon University by including university expenditures, and estimates of full-time student [1] and visitor expenditures, as well as dynamic components which take into account the cumulative value of the economic benefits derived from research and the alumni premium (salary and wage gains of student alumni with a degree versus those without) over an extended period of time. Comparing Brandon University with other universities using this method demonstrates Brandon University’s impact falls within the average of other universities when adjusted for the relative size of the institution.

Second, the Canadian I/O Model calculates the economic impact of the University for a specific time period (i.e., this report 2014/2015 fiscal year). It uses Brandon University expenditures, out-of-town student and visitor expenditures. The values produced through this model are based on multipliers derived from input/output tables based on industry wide accepted averages at the interprovincial and national levels. The Canadian I/O Model ensures the economic impact of Brandon University can be compared to those of other industry sectors.

Highlights of BU’s Economic Impact

The Economic Impacts of Brandon University on the Manitoba economy are calculated based on 2014/2015 data:

  • Brandon University contributes a total of value of $417.1 million to the Manitoba economy every year (as of 2014–15), with the vast majority of this impact (estimated at $410.5 million) concentrated in the Brandon area.
  • Significant contributions are made through alumni earning premiums and the impact of research and innovation, as well as direct spending by Brandon University, mostly on salaries and benefits for a highly educated workforce.
  • Brandon University attracts hundreds of young people to live, work and study in Brandon and area.
  • Through events, sports and performances, Brandon University attracts nearly 50,000 visitors to the city every year.
  • For every dollar in provincial government spending to Brandon University, there is an economic return of $11.30
  • Brandon University contributed $122.9 million in total gross output to the Manitoba economy through 2014–15, added $81.4 million to GDP, generated 46.8 million in labour income, and produced $5.1 million in indirect taxes[2]
  • Throughout Manitoba, Brandon University’s economic impact is responsible for the creation of a total of 927 jobs. An estimated 679 of those have been created in Brandon.

These numbers are useful in decision making and demonstrate the importance of the University to the economy.  This study also provides a benchmark that can be used to compare Brandon University’s economic impact to other universities of a similar size as well as larger universities in Manitoba. The methods used in this study can be repeated in subsequent years for a comparison of this benchmark year.

A History of Impact — Economic, Social, Cultural and More

Brandon University has a long history within the City of Brandon and the region of Southwest Manitoba. The institution was established as Brandon College in 1899. Over time, it gradually increased in size and was chartered as a university in 1967.

Today, Brandon University is an important employer and educator in southwestern Manitoba. Brandon University is integral to educating students who live in Westman, and in attracting and retaining students here for study and subsequent work.

Brandon University also attracts domestic and international students who prefer a smaller city option for their post-secondary education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Education, Health Studies, and Music programs attract students from across Western Canada for training and professional development; Science and Arts degrees prepare students for post-graduate pursuits and employment opportunities.  Brandon University’s Healthy Living Centre, a new state-of-the-art athletic facility, is a draw for sports events.

The University has an impact on the region because of the hundreds of degrees it confers each year and the approximately 70 percent of the graduates who stay in the province. The university’s research impact includes attracting millions of research dollars to the region, but also results in dissemination of new and innovative research findings that drive gains in the productivity and competitiveness of the region and province.

Brandon University raises awareness of its facilities and fulfills a need in the community for active/educational programming by providing children’s programs throughout the year such as Mini-U (ages 5-15). The Healthy Living Centre hosts sports events for local high schools and junior high students and intramural clubs. As well, it attracts major national sporting events such as the 2016 Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) Women’s Volleyball National Championship.

In the area of arts and culture, the University offers outstanding theatre, visual arts and music programs to university students. It presents music and theatre events throughout the year. It also provides opportunities for the Brandon community to develop musical interests and talent. The Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory of Music provides professional musical instruction for all ages, for both individuals and groups. Their current offerings include both voice and musical instrument instruction under programs such as Kindermusik and Suzuki Talent Education.

Brandon University has been traditionally known as an undergraduate teaching university. However, with new graduate programs, reduction in teaching load, and successful grant applications, faculty are increasing their research impact. The research institutes are also adding to this research impact by their connections to the community. Furthermore, university alumni have a continued and long term impact on the economy in many sectors.

While this report estimated the economic impact of Brandon University, no method can fully explain how the existence of the University has changed the local economy. Furthermore, the University plays an important role in building the community, developing aspirations in our youth for further education, both for attending Brandon University and/or other post-secondary institutions in other parts of Canada. These socio-cultural impacts are not captured in this report.


  1. Part-time student numbers are not included in either economic impact assessment method; to ensure we can compare BU to other university studies we follow that protocol.
  2. Total Gross Output is the total gross revenue from the sale of goods and services by a business; Total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Basic Price or Value added is the “value added” to the economy or the unduplicated total value of goods and services; Total Labour Income is the total value of wages and salaries; Total jobs are the direct, indirect and induced jobs created from BU’s existence; and Total Indirect Taxes refers to the total amount of revenues generated by the economic activity for different levels of government.