Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Image Credit: Saskatchewan Polytechnic

New Economic Impact Report Shows Impact of Sask Polytech

By Dr. Larry Rosia, president and CEO

Saskatchewan runs on Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Not only is this one of my favourite observations, it is bolstered by new economic impact figures covering Sask Polytech.  Consider that:

  • One out of every 24 jobs in Saskatchewan supported by the activities of Sask Polytech, its students and alumni.
  • Sask Polytech adds $2.2 billion in income to provincial economy, which is approximately 3.1 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  That is a larger contribution than the utilities industry.
  • For every dollar of public money invested in Sask Polytech, taxpayers will receive a cumulative value of $2.40 over the course of students’ working lives.
  • The average diploma graduate from Sask Polytech will see an increase in earnings of $13,300 annually compared to a person with a high school diploma or equivalent working in Saskatchewan.
  • Over his or her lifetime, a Sask Polytech graduate will earn more than $505,400 than someone who holds a high school diploma.

These statistics, which are for fiscal year 2018-19, are contained in a new report that assesses the impact of Sask Polytech on the provincial economy and the benefits generated by the polytechnic for its main stakeholder groups: students, taxpayers and society.  The data was compiled by Emsi, a labour market analytics firm with offices in the United States and United Kingdom.

Sask Polytech—Saskatchewan's primary institution for postsecondary applied education and research—plays an essential role in the provincial economy and drives significant economic growth, the report concludes.

In addition to driving economic growth, the report points out that Sask Polytech is a good investment for taxpayers.

Provincial taxpayers in Saskatchewan paid $176.5 million to support the operations of Sask Polytech in our last fiscal year.  The report concludes that the “net present value of the added tax revenue stemming from the students' higher lifetime earnings and the increased output of businesses amounts to $401.9 million in benefits to taxpayers.” In addition, savings to the public sector added another $15 million in benefits due to a reduced demand for government-funded social services in Saskatchewan.

From a social perspective, Sask Polytech generates value as well, according to the report.

“Society … will receive a present value of $2.1 billion in added provincial income over the course of the students' working lives,” the report points out.  “Society will also benefit from $38.6 million in present value social savings related to reduced crime, lower unemployment, and increased health and well-being across the province.”

While these and the many more facts and figures contained in The Economic Value of Saskatchewan  Polytechnic are impressive, it is our students and alumni who have and will always reap the rewards of their hard work.  For me, there are few things more moving than witnessing their first steps towards success as they walk across the stage to receive their degrees, diplomas or certificates.

Their achievements—the sacrifices they make, the hard work they put in to reach their goals and all the late nights of studying—illustrate the importance of our mission: To educate students and provide skilled and successful graduates.  Graduates who contribute to the province in positive ways, economically and socially.

Indeed, Saskatchewan runs on Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

Published December 2019.