More people than ever before can proudly claim a University of California degree: There are now more than 1.86 million alumni, and the number of bachelor’s degrees UC awards annually has jumped since 2000 by 55 percent.
The big increase reflects two parallel facts: UC is enrolling more students than at any time in its history, and student graduation rates have been steadily improving for the last 15 years. The university is on track to do even more: California undergraduate enrollment is expected to increase by 10,000 students between 2016 and 2018.
Those enrollment and graduation trends are detailed in the 2017 Accountability Report, along with a host of other data depicting the university’s progress in meeting its teaching, research and public service goals.
UC Provost Aimée Dorr and Institutional Research and Academic Planning Vice President Pamela Brown presented the report to the Board of Regents on July 13, zeroing in on UC’s research enterprise and the impact it has on California’s economy and workforce.
UC spent about $4.4 billion on research in the 2015-16 academic year, with around half of the funds coming from the federal government, a quarter from private sources, and corporations and nonprofits providing 12 and 13 percent, respectively.
“Those funds — most of which originate outside of California — provide about 27,500 full-time research positions within the state, contribute to the tax base and provide important economic benefits to local communities,” Brown said. “They also help UC carry out its educational mission, providing funding for faculty research, and supporting the students and postdoctoral researchers who work alongside them, gaining valuable expertise and training.”
UC’s research enterprise is something of a virtuous circle. UC research leads to new discoveries, and those in turn translate into patents, technology licenses and startup activity across the state. In 2014 — the most recent year for which UC has data — California startups based on UC technology licenses employed 19,000 workers and generated about $14 billion in revenue, Brown said.
You can learn more about UC’s research enterprise in the 2017 Accountability Report and by accessing the UC Information Center, which includes data on UC inventions, its economic impact on California and more.