The first Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) has today (Wednesday 31 March 2021) been published by Research England. It shows the diverse contribution of universities, like the University of Suffolk, to help drive improvement.
The KEF compares institutions on a like-for-like basis, with similar institutions being grouped together with their peers in ‘KEF clusters’ based on factors like their size, specialisation and the intensity of their research activities. The universities are then compared in seven areas. The University of Suffolk is above the cluster average in the area of working with business and in line with the cluster in the areas of skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship, research partnerships and working with the public and third sector.
Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Suffolk said “As a young university, we are striving forward with our strategy and vision to transform lives and our region as set out in our ten-year strategy, where knowledge exchange is a key enabler. It is encouraging to see the recognition in the KEF for the relationships we have nurtured with business and developing skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship. At present we are recruiting heavily in these areas to strengthen and grow our existing team. Already we have brought the University’s Careers team under the Directorate of Business Engagement, Careers and Employability. Aligning support for students with our commercial offer will enable deeper and longer lasting partnerships with the business community, critical to our recognition as a civic, community and entrepreneurial University. We recognise there is more work to be done and we see the KEF as providing a benchmark for us; identifying areas of further development.”
The KEF is the first time that detailed, qualitative information about how English Higher Education Providers (HEPs) build community engagement and promote growth in their local areas has been collected together in a structured and systematic way allowing for easy comparison. The narratives paint a detailed, never seen before picture of how HEPs engage with their communities to build deeper relationships and to stimulate local growth.
Chief Executive Officer of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Dame Ottoline Leyser, said “UKRI values the diverse and varied contributions that our higher education institutions make to society. The Knowledge Exchange Framework, published today by Research England, reflects and celebrates this diversity.”
“The KEF also brings together rich accounts of how our universities engage in their local areas, contributing in varied and often innovative ways to their local communities and economies. As well as researchers and innovators, the activities captured in the framework highlight the diversity of essential roles - from technicians and project managers, to technology transfer professionals - in connecting discovery to prosperity and public good.”
Executive Chair of Research England David Sweeney added, “Universities engagement with society through Knowledge Exchange is an essential part of their mission alongside research and teaching.”
“The Knowledge Exchange Framework will help universities understand where their strengths are, relative to others with similar missions. It showcases a diverse picture of the tremendous work they do in their places, nationally and internationally.”
University of Suffolk Press Office