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 UUK, GuildHE, PraxisAuril and NCUB.
KEF Timeline REVISED due to COVID-19 crisis
- Spring 2021 - Publication of the KEF metrics and narrative statements available on the KEF metrics dashboard kef.ac.uk/dashboard.
- October 2020-21 - KEC development year
- Late October 2021 - Evaluation of KEC action plans sent to individual institutions (see keconcordat.ac.uk)
You can read PraxisAuril's contribution to the initial consultation on the use of metrics in the KEF 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 was followed by a second consultation on the metrics exercise in January 2019 and a pilot exercise involving 20 HEIs from across the clusters.
For all KEF-related matters, please contact Tamsin Mann, Director of Policy & Communications.
Background to the KE Framework
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 which was led by Professor Richard Jones (Sheffield). It emerges from a longer-standing knowledge exchange framework initiative, started by the (then) HEFCE in January 2016. A key output 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.
The main metric for knowledge exchange is 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.
Universities in the devolved nations are not included in the KEF metrics dashboards but still contribute annual data to the HEBCI collection. A number of Scottish and Welsh universities are taking part in the KEC development year on a voluntary basis.