LSTM scores very highly for research management, working with public, and the third sector, under the new Knowledge Exchange Framework 2 (KEF 2) performance indicators

News article 13 Oct 2022

UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is designed to give an evidence-based insight into how English higher education providers (HEPs) are performing.

UKRI recently launched KEF2, which uses improved data and methodology to provide better public information on the rich and diverse ways English universities engage with society and our economy, locally, nationally, and internationally.

LSTM was involved in the first KEF pilot and has once again provided data for assessment in KEF2. LSTM scored very highly in two key areas of engagement: research management and working with public and the third sector; whilst the School gained a medium score for working with businesses, the public and community engagement. 

The new way of assessing HEPs, through KEF 2, builds on the success of the first version of the KEF. KEF2 continues to demonstrate the range of valuable activities universities conduct with external partners across seven perspectives. These perspectives include public and community engagement, working with partners ranging from big businesses to small local firms, and how they commercialise home-grown research.

KEF 2 also demonstrates the diversity of universities that support the government’s key national and global priorities, through these activities. The KEF is recognised by government as “valuable to capture contributions to economic growth, such as place and civic contributions” and plays an important part in driving forwards these agendas.

David Sweeney CBE, Executive Chair of Research England, said:

“Knowledge exchange is integral to the mission and purpose of our universities, and its importance in contributing to societal and economic prosperity is strongly supported by the Government.

“Today’s new version of the Knowledge Exchange Framework takes us further forward the vision and potential of KE activity, providing richer evidence to demonstrate universities’ strengths in different areas when set alongside their peers.”

For the first time, KEF2 includes university activity conducted during the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering the KEF’s underlying data and insights from the UCI Policy Evidence Unit at the University of Cambridge, results highlight the remarkable resilience of the English higher education sector during a period of disruption and instability. Activity levels have been maintained across a breadth of knowledge exchange, to support the UK’s economic and societal recovery from the pandemic. In KEF2, encouraging signs of growing success are emerging particularly in the perspectives for IP & Commercialisation and Research Partnerships.

Most of the data informing KEF’s metrics comes from the long-standing HESA Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI) survey, supported by:

· narratives provided by the institutions for the first iteration that inform the local growth & regeneration and public & community engagement perspectives

· data provided by Innovate UK

· data provided by Elsevier.

For more information about KEF, including about clusters, perspectives and metrics, visit: technical notes on the KEF website. Staff keen to learn more about the KEF2 process and why it’s useful to get involved, email: