Consultation on the design of the KEF – our response

The Chartered ABS and its members believes that the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) has the potential to offer additional tools to universities to measure and evaluate elements of their knowledge exchange activity and to provide businesses, public sector and third sector organisations with opportunities for collaborative engagement.

We are concerned that the KEF’s proposed cluster groupings will limit the scope for engagement between universities and third parties -  particularly businesses – because it will not allow performance to be compared between institutions in different clusters. It is also doubtful that the perspectives as currently labelled will be useful for decision-making by businesses. Both the clustering and the labelling of the perspectives need to be reconsidered for the eventual roll-out of KEF.

Our member business schools would also like to see more consideration as to how the KEF can actually drive improvement in knowledge exchange activities within universities. While we agree that metrics should play a role in the KEF exercise it should be noted that the proposed metrics were not designed to measure knowledge exchange and some activities cannot be captured by metrics. We therefore support the use of supplementary narrative.

The KEF is being developed by Research England with the aim of increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public funding for knowledge exchange and this consultation was used to gather stakeholders’ views on its proposed design and implementation. The KEF is being piloted by a group of universities before Research England makes its recommendations for the full implementation.

Read and download our full response here.