You can use the knowledge exchange framework (KEF) to explore data and explanations of the different ways universities collaborate with external partners, from businesses to community groups, for the benefit of the economy and society.
The aim of the KEF is to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public funding for knowledge exchange (KE) and to further a culture of continuous improvement in universities. It will allow universities to better understand and improve their own performance, as well as provide businesses and other users with more information to help them access the world-class knowledge and expertise embedded in English Higher Education Providers (HEPs).
This information is presented on interactive dashboards. KEF results are published annually.
Developing the KEF
Work to create the KEF began in 2017, when the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation commissioned the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to provide more information about HEP achievements in serving the economy and society for the benefit of the public, business and communities. Research England assumed responsibility for this as part of its wider KE policy and funding remit in April 2018.
You can read more about the development of the KEF and explore associated documentation.
Following publication of the first iteration of KEF results in March 2021, we reviewed the KEF based on feedback from the sector and users. The KEF review report detailing the findings of the review with recommendations for future development was published in February 2022. We subsequently sought feedback from the sector on specific proposals for changes to the second iteration of the KEF via a KEF options survey, along with future direction of travel for the KEF dashboard design and narrative.
View an offline reference copy of the survey questions, along with detailed supporting information, including worked examples of the methodology changes.
Analysis of the survey results, decisions for the design of KEF2 and future iterations are set out in the KEF2 decisions document.
KEF2 presents a technical evolution of the first iteration of the KEF, with a refined methodology to ensure even greater accuracy and robustness, and was published in September 2022.
KEF narrative statements
The KEF review identified areas where we could develop and improve the narrative statement templates, criteria and guidance before calling for new statements. The review also demonstrated a preference for narrative statement updates to only take place on a 2 or 3 year cycle. For these reasons KEF2 continues to display the narrative statements included in the first iteration of the KEF.
We have now invited the submission of wholly updated KEF narrative statements for publication alongside updated KEF3 results in 2023. The updated KEF3 narrative templates and accompanying guidance were published in November 2022. The deadline for submission of the KEF3 narrative statements is 29 March 2023.
Find out more
You can read a number of resources including frequently asked questions and detailed information about the mathematical calculations used by the KEF dashboard.
All this information is in the technical notes.
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Last updated: 9 November 2022