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Success for Warwick in the first Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) results

On 23 March, the Government published its inaugural Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) report, and we are delighted that Warwick has been placed in the top 10% of English higher education institutes for “Public and community engagement”, and the top 20% for “Working with business.”

How did Warwick score, and what does it mean?

Warwick was placed in the top 10% for “Public and community engagement”, the top 20% for “Working with business”, the top 30% for “Working with the public and third sector”, the top 30% for “Research partnerships” and the top 30% for the development of “Intellectual Property and commercialisation”

These initial results are very good news for the University. They show that we have one of the best performances among leading universities for our support for our region, meaning the commitment we have to working in partnership with local authorities, community groups, schools, colleges and businesses, is making a difference. We are committed to supporting the economic, social and cultural recovery of our region and this first set of KEF figures are a great base for our ambitions for the future.

What is the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF)?

The KEF is a mechanism for measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge exchange (KE) in higher education institutions (HEIs).

Knowledge exchange is defined as:

"The set of activities, processes and skills that enable close collaboration between universities and non-academic partners to deliver commercial, environmental, cultural and societal benefits, opportunities for students and economic growth” (KE Concordat consultation, May 2019).

Led by Research England, the KEF forms the third assessment area of university activities, alongside the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). It assesses how HEIs, including Warwick, deliver societal and economic benefit through the knowledge they create.

The KEF demonstrates how we engage a non-academic audience and turn our research into new ideas, new intellectual property and new spin-out companies. It also enables benchmarking against universities in a broad range of knowledge exchange areas – including business engagement and commercialisation, public and community engagement and regional growth.

The KEF assigned universities to different “Clusters.” Warwick was placed into Cluster V which is described by UKRI as “very large, very high research-intensive and broad-discipline universities undertaking significant amounts of excellent research.”

Alongside Warwick in Cluster V are 16 other leading English universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, King’s, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, London Business School, Queen Mary, Bristol and Leeds. Warwick was ranked as performing 20% above that leading universities group’s average for the University’s support for our region’s “Local growth and regeneration”.

Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC)

In addition to the KEF, universities have also been asked to sign up to a Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC) of good principles and practice, including engagement, working transparently and ethically, capacity building, continuous improvement and evaluating success.

When was the KEF first developed?

Work to create the KEF began in 2017, when the Government commissioned the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to provide more information about higher education institutions’ achievements in serving

How can I find out more about knowledge exchange at Warwick?

We have recently developed a new website outlining our knowledge exchange activities, including the Concordat. View our Knowledge Exchange pages.

What are the next steps for the KEF?

Following the publication of the first iteration of KEF results in March 2021, UKRI will undertake a review of the KEF, including seeking feedback from the sector and users. At Warwick, we will also work with our wide range of regional partners to continue to explore what we can achieve together for the benefit of our regional economy.

Wed 31 Mar 2021, 12:00 | Tags: research risfeed