Apr 12, 2010
The results of an investigation by Oita Prefecture into the social and economic ripple effect that APU has were released on April 10, 2010, to coincide with the APU 10th anniversary.
According to the findings of Oita Prefecture, the annual economic ripple effect felt by the Prefecture as a result of APU amounts to 21.17 billion yen (approx $222 million US). This represents the annual direct economic ripple effect that APU, its students and faculty staff have on local business and industry. These results were compiled for 2008.
Based on data released by APU and a student questionnaire, this study estimates the total consumer expenditure by APU students, faculty, staff and visitors to be 12.09 billion yen (approx $127 million US). Based on this consumer expenditure figure, the total economic ripple effect was calculated using the Prefectural industrial production data for the year 2000.
Of the $222 million, an estimated $92 million is directly felt by the Prefecture through the purchase of goods and services. The primary resulting indirect-ripple effect on local industry due to the purchase of raw materials is estimated at $20 million, while the secondary indirect-ripple effect caused by the resulting consumption by waged employees benefiting from the primary ripple effect is estimated at $15 million. Therefore, the total economic ripple effect experienced by the Prefecture is estimated at $127 million.
This $127 million economic ripple effect is equivalent to 0.19% of gross Prefectural production resulting in the employment of 911 people and the creation of $30 million in wages for the Prefecture. If the total annual income of the University is added to the economic ripple, then the total economic effect is estimated at $222 million.
In terms of the social ripple effect, since the establishment of APU Beppu has been able to stem its falling population level and maintain its current population of 127,000 which had previously been in decline since 1980. The total population of those affiliated with APU (student, faculty staff and their family members, staff at the Co-op and other affiliated companies) stands at 6862, or 5.4% of the total population of Beppu City.
Furthermore as a result of the opening of APU, Oita Prefecture now boasts the highest proportion of foreign students per 100,000 residents. In addition, Beppu City has 3.1 times the national average ratio of students per 10,000 residents and 26 times the national average of foreign students. Beppu has become known as a "university town" in addition to its reputation as a popular tourist destination.
This study also illustrates the extent of the enormous social contribution made by the university including off-campus classes at local primary and junior high schools, open lectures for Prefecture residents, engaging in joint-research of issues facing the region, urban development in cooperation with international students, and the participation of students at local community events. It can be seen that the resulting effects APU has had on the local community since first being established at the invitation of Oita Prefecture have surpassed all initial expectations.
More details are available in the "Investigation into the ripple-effects of inviting the establishment of a new university・a look at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University as it marks its 10th anniversary" (published by Oita Prefecture & Beppu City).
*All US dollar figures are approximate and were calculated at a rate of 95 yen per dollar.