Campus - 16.04.2019 - 00:00 

HSG’s value creation for the region amounts to more than CHF 235m

The value created by the University of St.Gallen (HSG) for the benefit of the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region remains high: in 2017, it amounted to CHF 235.5m. This is tantamount to CHF 789 per inhabitant. Thus the HSG transforms one franc that is invested in it by the canton into five francs. Its self-funding level amounts to 49 per cent. The report on the HSG’s regional impact, which has just been published for 2017, also reveals that the HSG’s spin-offs play an important part in the regional economy.

16 April 2019. As a university under public law, the HSG sets great store by its regional identity. The Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG) therefore periodically produces a report about its regional roots. In this report, the HSG is provided with a well-founded insight into where it stands and where it can improve things. The data are updated every second year. The new report concerns 2017. The study is conducted according to international standards and was evaluated within the framework of the Business Schools Impact System (BSIS) process of the European Foundation of Management Schools (EFMD).

Just under half of the budget is generated by the HSG itself

In 2017, the overall budget of the University of St.Gallen amounted to CHF 239.8m. CHF 49.2m (21%) was contributed by the Canton of St.Gallen. In comparison with other Swiss universities, the HSG had the highest amount of non-public funds. Its self-funding level stands at 49 per cent.

Regional value creation provides information about the increase in value in the region generated by the University of St.Gallen, as well as by students and participants in executive education courses. In 2017, the University contributed CHF 235.5m towards the value creation and thus to the regional income of the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region, which is tantamount to CHF 789 per inhabitant. Owing to the employees’ places of residence, which are situated outside the region with increasing frequency, the higher proportion of tuition fees and the increase in the government contribution of the Canton of St.Gallen, value creation remained approximately at the level of 2015 (CHF 237m). Value creation per inhabitant is slightly lower owing to an increase in the number of inhabitants.

One in six overnight stays in the city and region was generated by the University since participants in HSG events, executive education courses and seminars often stay overnight for the duration. In sum, the HSG is responsible for 34,600 overnight stays. This is tantamount to 15 per cent of all overnight stays in the city and the region in 2017. In comparison with 2015 (14% of all overnight stays), the number of overnight stays increased by 8,800.

One in three students of economic sciences is enrolled at the HSG

In Autumn Semester 2017, 8,553 students were enrolled. Thus the University of St.Gallen had grown by 3.9 per cent in comparison with 2015. In the economic sciences, the HSG achieved a dominant market share in this field in Switzerland: 39 per cent of all students in the basic courses and 59 per cent of all doctoral students mean that one in three students of economics sciences is enrolled at the HSG.

At the Bachelor’s Level, approx. 75 per cent of the students at the University of St.Gallen are gainfully employed. At the Master’s Level, gainful employment has increased in significance and has become standard by now: all interviewees of the 2017 graduate survey indicated that they worked during their studies. Thus the students make an important contribution to the regional labour market.

After graduation, a proportion of graduates are available to the regional labour market. However, many of them leave the region in the first five years after graduating. Of the students who are already resident in the Canton of St.Gallen, just under half leave the canton. However, 5 per cent of Swiss students and 6 per cent of foreign students who moved to St.Gallen for their studies remain in the region after graduation.

In 2017, the proportion of 27,000 HSG alumni who were living in the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region remained the same, namely about 10 per cent. The University thus makes a contribution towards the reduction of the brain drain, the loss of know-how of well-educated people.

Among the canton’s ten biggest employers

With its 3,133 employees, which is tantamount to 1,051.7 full-time jobs, the HSG is among the ten biggest employers in the canton. 59 per cent of the regular members of staff live in the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region.

As a business university, the HSG sets particular store by supporting the regional corporate landscape. In the past few years, a great number of initiatives were launched to strengthen the ties and transfer between the University and companies in the region. The University of St.Gallen’s executive education function provides regional companies and employees with courses that are relevant to them and enables them to extend their networks. In 2017, approx. 670 of the 5,300 participants in the courses taught by the Executive School and the institutes came from the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region.

The University of St.Gallen has offered public lecture courses ever since its foundation in 1898. In 2017, it was able to welcome more than 4,000 auditors to 76 lectures.




Regional effects of the HSG




HSG’s value creation for the region












The value created by the University of St.Gallen (HSG) for the benefit of the Appenzell Ausserrhoden-St.Gallen-Lake Constance region remains high: in 2017, it amounted to CHF 235.5m. This is tantamount to CHF 789 per inhabitant.




Spin-offs play an important part in the regional economy

As its name indicates, the particular focus of Startup@HSG is on setting up new firms. In 2017, 400 companies were launched. About 90 per cent of all consultations were conducted with students of all academic levels, the remaining 10 per cent were distributed among alumni and HSG staff. Together with the St.Gallen University of Applied Sciences, EMPA and the City of St.Gallen, the HSG is also actively involved in the Startfeld initiative. This superordinate project, which is organised in a foundation and an association – devotes itself to the promotion of innovation and start-ups in Eastern Switzerland and in the international Lake Constance area.

At present, 122 start-ups bear the “Spin-off University of St.Gallen” label. About one in four of them is based in the Canton of St.Gallen, a few more in other locations in Eastern Switzerland. More than half of the spin-offs are spread throughout the rest of Switzerland, the majority in Zurich. 27 are based abroad. Thanks to their success, the HSG spin-offs have already been able to generate a considerable turnover. About a quarter of the spin-offs report a turnover of more than CHF 2m p.a. In view of the fact that approx. one in four of the spin-offs has settled in the region, it may be assumed that the spin-offs of the University of St.Gallen play an important part in the regional economy. With their orientation towards new technologies and their trend towards positive development, they are able to trigger innovative impulses for the region’s innovative power.

Besides the spin-offs, the work done by the University’s Career & Corporate Services (CSC) is also important for the regional economy. In 2017 alone, more than 2,350 jobs were advertised (2015: approx. 2,500), among others by 80 companies from the region. 211 regional companies have registered on the CSC platform to date. Thus about 16 per cent of all the registered firms come from the region. The greatest share in the regional companies which make use of the CSC platform comes from industry. This proves once more that HSG students’ competencies are appreciated far beyond the areas previously associated with the HSG, namely banking and consultancy. As a complement to the online platform, the CSC offers companies various options for establishing contact with students.

The University is mentioned in the media 36 times a day

The image of a region is also influenced by media reports by and about its organisations. The HSG was mentioned in the media 36 times every day – and St.Gallen with it. All in all in 2017, more than 8,900 articles in which the University of St.Gallen was mentioned were published in regional and national media, and almost 4,300 in international media. Also, media work became more digital: in 2017, HSG faculty members gave 32 live interviews on channels including CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg and Deutsche Welle. This was made possible by means of a camera on campus that is linked up to a satellite and thus live with news channels around the globe.

Conclusions regarding the regional impact

Monetary analyses demonstrate that basically, the HSG continues to make great contributions towards regional purchasing power and regional value creation. In the non-monetary area, too, there has been recent evidence of significant contributions to the regional labour market, to the corporate landscape and the economic ecosystem, to the regional innovation system, as well as to the region’s social and cultural life.

Nonetheless, the analyses also pointed to aspects that still have potential for boosting regional impact. These concern 1) the accessibility of the University, particularly for actors from the regional economic ecosystem; 2) the spatial integration of the University for the reinforcement of its role as a local knowledge driver; and 3) the active integration of students into the regional economic and social life in order to create ties between them and the region.

The brochure and the complete report can be downloaded from

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