Observations from a Critical Review of the KEF

This project undertook a critical review of the first iteration of the KEF, focusing on the methodologies and data used. Our aim was to provide insights to inform the future development of the KEF.




In March 2021, the results from the first iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) were published. The KEF was built to assess the performance of English universities across a range of knowledge exchange (KE) activities. The new framework represents a significant step forward in capturing information on the KE activities undertaken by universities in a visible, accessible, and structured way to reveal the diversity of KE across different universities and enable easier benchmarking of universities and their KE activities.


Following its publication, Research England undertook a review of the first iteration of the KEF and sought feedback from the sector and the users.





Project aims


Within this context, the UCI Policy Evidence Unit at the University of Cambridge undertook a rapid and critical review of the KEF methods and data. Our focus was to examine in detail the methodological approach and data used to drive the KEF.





KEF Review Metrics Expert Group


UCI's Tomas Ulrichsen and Zoi Roupakia were appointed to the KEF Review Metrics Expert Group. This group was formed to review the methodologies used in the first iteration of the KEF and provide specific advice and suggestions to Research England on the further development of the metrics and methods used. The group was asked to comment specifcally on the technical aspects of the KEF and the robustness of the analytical methods used to reflect the underlying data. 





Project outputs


The findings of our critical review are published in the following report by Zoi Roupakia and Tomas Ulrichsen: 


Observations from a critical review of the first iteration of Knowledge Exchange Framework


The views and arguments expressed in this report are of the authors alone, and do not represent the positions of organisations or expert groups of which the authors are currently, or were previously, members. For avoidance of doubt, they do not represent the position of the KEF Review Metrics Expert Group. 



For further information please contact:

Zoi Roupakia


E: zr216@cam.ac.uk

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