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Education turns a huge profit, in Texas anyway

Whether you're a student, parent, teacher or otherwise involved in education, a lot of us spend a lot of time focused on schools, colleges and universities. In most cases, here in the UK, we talk about the ‘cost of education'. The University of Texas at Austin has a different approach. KitGuru dusts off an old ‘Go Longhorns' banner and heads for 6th Street.

University of Texas at Austin instructors generate nearly twice as much revenue through research funding and educational dollars as they cost the state in salary and benefits, according to a report on faculty productivity issued by the university.

We'll say that again, but with less words. This university generates double the money it costs.

Quite a surprise. The report also discovered:-

  • All instructors generated about $658 million in teaching and research-related revenue in 2009-10. They were paid about $318 million in salary and benefits from state funds
  • On average, tenured and tenure track faculty members earn $129,000 in salary and benefits from state funds, and each generates $280,000 in educational and research funding
  • Among the one-fifth of instructors who teach the most semester credit hours, 56.8 percent are tenured and tenure track faculty members. Of those who teach the fewest semester credit hours, 77.2 percent are graduate students or non-tenured faculty
  • About 88 percent of professors in colleges with undergraduate enrolments teach and collaborate with undergraduate students
  • Only the lowest-paid faculty members, those who earn less than $75,000 a year on average, fail to generate an equivalent amount of revenue for the university. Many of these are assistant professors at the start of their careers whose most productive years are ahead of them

It's a great effort by the college to monetise the brains and facilities they have available to them. Also, for anyone who has visited Austin, the role of the amazing bars along 6th Street should not be downplayed.

KitGuru wonders how much clever science has actually happened along 6th street after a Longhorns win?

KitGuru says: We have also visited the University of Surrey's Satellite Production Facility, which (at the time) had an order book of several million pounds worth of ‘things you can fire into space'. Well done chaps. The top education establishments (both sides of the pond) have the ability to do more for the society/country around them – and this should be encouraged in a 21st century where the application of science etc in the real world is so important.

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