Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)

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The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) proposes a third pillar of university activity assessment alongside the REF and TEF. It was included as a Government policy in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in 2017. PraxisAuril is engaging proactively on behalf of its members throughout the consultation and implementation process. The KEF is being led by Research England with support from other agencies including UUK, PraxisAuril and the NCUB. 

The KEF is an intitutional-level exercise to inform and assess knowldge exchange activities of UK Higher Education Institutions. It comprises two parts: a KEF Concordat, led by Professor Trevor McMillan (Keele), and KEF metrics exercise led by Professor Richard Jones (Sheffield). It emerges from a longer-standing knowledge exchange framework initiative, started by the (then) HEFCE in January 2016. One of the key outputs of this was the McMillan Review of Technology Transfer which concluded that UK universities were internationally competitive in their technology transfer practice but identified the need for stronger leadership in KE and improved evidence to understand ecosytem and industry sector factors in successful technology transfer. To date, the main measure of knowledge exchange has been the annual HEBCI data collection (see the HESA website). HEIF strategies, for English HEIS in receipt of funding, provide qualitative insight into university KE approaches: a summary review of strategies was commissioned by Research England (then HEFCE, archived web content). The NCUB has piloted an alternative approach with its Collaboration Progress Monitor, which draws on sources of publicly available data to observe trends across 15 metrics. Several reviews of the sector can be found in the Resources section of our website. 
 
The  KEF Timeline   
An initial consultation on the use of metrics in the KEF concluded in January 2018. You can read PraxisAuril's contribution to the consultation here. A summary of consultation responses and a technical report on the proposed cluster approach was released by Research England in November 2018. This has been followed with a second consultation on the metrics exercise, including a pilot, in January 2019. PraxisAuril's main contact for KEF-related matters is Tamsin Mann, Head of Policy. 
 
Key deadlines 
  • Thursday, 14 March 2019 (midday) - deadline for the KEF metrics consultation (online survey
 

Research England announces cluster institutions for the KEF pilot

Research England has selected 21 English universities to take part in a pilot Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), which will run between February and May 2019. The pilot exercise will feed into a raft of evidence, including from a consultation, on how the KEF will operate in England. Research England said that they received an extremely high response rate to a January 2019 call for expressions of interest to take part in the pilot exercise, with interest expressed from every proposed KEF cluster across England.

KEF dashboard demo

Research England has released a video walk-through of prototype KEF dashboards that show how KEF data might be visualised. The dashboards were produced by Jisc Analytics Labs between May and October 2018. This demonstration has been released as part of Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Framework consultation and should be viewed in conjunction with the consultation documentation. These dashboards focus on making key KEF measures more accessible so that institutions can understand, compare and improve their own performance.

Research England launches Knowledge Exchange Framework consultation

Research England has today published a document detailing proposals for how the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) could work and would like to hear the HE sector’s views on these proposals. The proposals set out in the document aim to implement a Government policy priority for the KEF set out in the Industrial Strategy White Paper in 2017.

Conference report: Preparing for the Knowledge Exchange Framework in UK HEIs

Professor Trevor McMillan, Chair of Research England’s KEF Steering Group, set the scene and trailed the KEF Concordat, stressing the importance of measuring and evaluating how universities do Knowledge Exchange (KE).  He identified three key actions for university management:

Research England releases more details on KEF proposals

Research England has published three documents that will help higher education institutions (HEIs) prepare for the upcoming consultation on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF). The documents are: 

Summary KEF call for evidence responses: key points that have emerged from evidence submitted to Research England on suitable approaches to – and data to use in – the KEF. 

The Big Issues: engaging with our members on Industrial Strategy & KEF proposals

We’re sure it will come as no surprise that the current dominant policy issue is the Industrial Strategy and the proposed KEF. How is PraxisAuril engaging in these key sector developments for our members? Following a get-together in London to discuss the KEF, the PraxisAuril Advocacy Committee put together a response to the KEF Technical Advisory Group (January 2018) which you can read here. Our thanks go to all those involved.

PraxisAuril responds to the KEF consultation (Feb 2018)

PraxisAuril members have helped to inform our response to the KEF consultation launched by HEFCE's Technical Advisory Group. Since 2015 we have worked with HEFCE to understand better the characteristics of good and effective practice in KE and support whole heartedly the work of the McMillan Group on which some of our members sit. We welcome the KEF as a next step in this work and will continue to engage fully to represent our members’ views as expert KE practitioners working across the UK's university sector. 

We see the aims of the KEF as:

PraxisAuril welcomes the KEF & Technical Advisory Group (Nov 2017)

HEFCE has started work on the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) which will form a third pillar of university assessment alongside the TEF and REF. A Technical Advisory Group, Chaired by Professor Richard Jones, will take evidence from the sector before handing over to Research England in April 2018.

PraxisUnico Conference 2016 - KE Framework Podcast

In the first of our podcasts from the PraxisUnico Conference 2016, Professor Trevor McMillan speaks about "Putting technology transfer in context: Development of the KE Framework".

In it he describes:

  • How the US views UK KE and TT
  • How the UK compares globally
  • What to be aware of when making comparisons

Click here to listen 

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