Campus - 04.09.2015 - 00:00 

The HSG benefits the region

The University of St.Gallen (HSG) makes an annual contribution of CHF 207m to the value creation of the Appenzell AR – St.Gallen – Lake Constance region. This amounts to over CHF 900 per inhabitant. Just under one overnight stay in five in the city and the region is generated by the HSG. This is revealed by the report on the HSG's regional effects in 2013, which has just been published.


7 September 2015. As a university under public law, the HSG sets great store by its regional identity. This is why the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG) periodically draws up a report on the HSG's regional roots. This report provides the University with a well-founded insight into where it stands and where it can improve. A study was first produced for 2006; in 2010, it was updated. Now the survey with the 2013 data has been published and was presented by Education Minister and Chairman of the University's Board of Governors Stefan Kölliker, President Thomas Bieger and Vice-President Ulrike Landfester at their annual media meeting to mark the beginning of the 2015 Autumn Semester.

Value creation grew again

In 2013, the overall budget of the University of St.Gallen amounted to CHF 212m, of which CHF 50m (24%) came from the St.Gallen. With 48%, the University of St.Gallen has the highest self-funding ratio in comparison with other Swiss universities.

The regional value creation provides information about the value added to the region by the University of St.Gallen and by students and participants in executive education courses. The University makes a contribution to the value creation and thus to the aggregate income of the Appenzell AR − St.Gallen − Lake Constance region in the amount of 207 million francs, which is tantamount to 901 francs per inhabitant. From 2010 to 2013, the value creation grew by 6 million francs (+3.1 per cent). Despite the new increase in student numbers, value creation did not grow proportionally. This is partly a result of students’ changed residence structures: more than 60% of students at the Master's Level commute to the HSG from outside the Appenzell AR – St.Gallen – Lake Constance region for their studies and thus spend less money on site. Then again, figures for average student expenditure were taken from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office for the first time, which led to shifts in expenditure categories and resulted in a lower amount of expenditure being recorded that had an impact on consumption in the region.

Various HSG events, executive education courses and seminars triggered overnight stays in the city and the region. In sum, 33,500 overnight stays were booked in the city and the region because of the HSG. Just under one in five overnight stays (18 per cent) in the city and the region was thus generated by the HSG.

Entrepreneurially active HSG members

The exchange of knowledge is enabled through conferences, congresses and seminars in the region, as well as the HSG's public lecture courses, on the one hand, and on the other hand through corporate start-ups and through students who, besides their studies, are in gainful employment or serve internships. Additionally, the HSG contributes to the regional start-up scene. The start-up@HSG institution, in particular, is dedicated to the issue of corporate start-ups. In 2013, approx. 300 companies were established. Together with St.Gallen's University of Applied Sciences, EMPA and the City of St.Gallen, the HSG is also involved in the STARTFELD initiative. In 2013, this organisation supervised 98 projects. 13 of these projects were introduced to STARTFELD by the HSG. However, not only start-ups that are being envisaged or have already been completed are relevant. The status of entrepreneurial activities and intentions among Swiss students is revealed by the periodically published GUESSS Report (Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students' Survey). The latest survey demonstrates that in comparison with other Swiss universities, the notion of setting up business has definitely gained more than just a foothold among the students of the University of St.Gallen: 8% of the HSG students who were interviewed were in the process of founding a company, and 4.4% had already done so.

The HSG's faculty members inject their specialist knowledge into 230 firms and foundations, where they are involved in leading positions, predominantly as members of a board of directors. 41 per cent (105 out of 254) of faculty members' board memberships are in companies and foundations located in the Appenzell AR − St.Gallen − Lake Constance region, among them Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz, Helvetia Insurance, the OLMA Trade Fairs, Raiffeisen and the St.Gallen Cantonal Bank.

The activities of the University of St.Gallen have an impact both within the region and beyond. The University is present in the region, on the one hand, and it operates in a national and international environment, on the other hand. In 2013, more than 10,000 articles appeared in the regional and national media and over 780 in the international media. These contributions are tantamount to a computed advertising value of approx. CHF 25m in the national media (+156% in comparison with 2010) and another CHF 23.55m in the international media. This means that the University – and thus also St.Gallen – is present in the media 32 times a day, with two of these mentions in the international media.

One in three students in economic sciences at the HSG

In 2013, 7,666 students were enrolled, which means that the University of St.Gallen grew by 13.9% in comparison with 2010 (6,726 students). In the economic sciences, the HSG thus achieved a dominant market share in Switzerland with 38% of all students in the basic education in these disciplines.

876 students (11.4%) come from the Canton of St.Gallen. 1,681 students (21.9%) were resident in Eastern Switzerland before they started their studies. The number of students from Eastern Switzerland remained constant over the years.

In 2013, about 20,000 HSG alumni (10%) lived in the Appenzell AR – St.Gallen – Lake Constance region, and 10% also worked there. The number of alumni working in the region had increased (+3% in comparison with 2010). Thus the University makes a contribution to the reduction of the so-called brain drain, a loss of well-educated people’s know-how through their moving elsewhere, which would probably be even higher without the HSG.

Public university

The University Management regards the HSG's regional roots and the associated contribution to regional value creation and knowledge transfer as one of the central pillars of its identity. Above and beyond the public programme and the Children’s University, the dialogue between the HSG and the region is to be further reinforced. With "HSG Hautnah", the University visited several regions of the Canton of St.Gallen. In 2014, the HSG was present at the OFFA Fair for the first time, where it introduced visitors to public facilities such as the Library, the public lecture courses and parts of Unisport. Cooperation with St.Gallen-Bodensee Tourism and the OLMA Fairs are intended to strengthen St.Gallen as a venue for congresses. In addition, the use of the HSG campus as a space for public encounters is intended to be intensified even more.

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