Knowledge Exchange Framework

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Knowledge Exchange Framework

Kent's definition of Knowledge Exchange:

“A two-way exchange between researchers, students and research users, to share ideas, evidence research, experiences and skills. It refers to any process through which academic ideas and insights are shared, and external perspectives and experiences brought in to academia.” 

Piloted in 2020 and led by Research England, the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) forms the third pillar of assessment of university activities, alongside the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Alongside the KEF, Universities have also been asked to sign up to a Knowledge Exchange Concordat (KEC) of good principles and practice, confirming their intention to embed KE in the institution.

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Our KEF Statement

"Knowledge exchange has long been at the heart of our research and innovation activities at Kent. We believe in the power of working collaboratively with industry and the community to benefit both the economy and society, and are determined to extend our KE activities at a local, national and international level.

As keen participants in both the KE Concordat and the Framework, we welcome this opportunity to better understand our performance and to put KE on the map for all our staff, students and partners, creating clear access routes and engagement opportunities across our portfolio."

Shane Weller, DVC of Research and Innovation

Purpose of the KEF

1.    To enable universities to better understand, benchmark and improve their performance in KE activities;

2.    To help business and other users access the world-class knowledge and expertise embedded in English HEPs;

3.    To increase efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public funding for KE.

Participation in KEF is expected to be a condition of funding from academic year 2020-21.

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KEF Perspectives

The KEF assesses a university’s KE activities, through narrative and metric data, under seven broad ‘Perspectives’:

  1. Research Partnerships;
  2. Working with Business;
  3. Working with the Public and Third Sector;
  4. Skills, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship;
  5. Local Growth and Regeneration;
  6. Intellectual Property (IP) and Commercialisation;
  7. Public and Community Engagement.


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Numerous and amazing examples of KE activity are taking place across the University, from the outreach work of the Gulbenkian to our new Medical School – Kent embodies the values of the KEF.

Carole Barron, Director of Knowledge Exchange & Innovation
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KE in practice

Successful knowledge exchange activities.

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Contact us:

Contact the KEF team directly.