GuildHE has responded to the Research England Consultation on the KEF metrics. The consultation was seeking feedback on the first draft of the proposed approach to the metrics and methods that will make up a KEF “result”.

The consultation asked questions on the KEF aims, proposed clustering of institutions, perspectives of KE, metrics, narrative and results visualisation.

The Metrics exercise has three purposes:

  • To provide universities with new tools to understand, benchmark and improve their performance.

  • To provide business and other users with more information on universities.

  • To provide greater public visibility and accountability.

A few highlights from our submission are below:


  • We support the development of the KEF as it highlights the importance of Knowledge Exchange within the higher education sector.

  • We view this in its current form as a tool for providers to compare themselves rather than a tool for our partners.

  • Future versions of the KEF must adopt metrics to capture non-traditional KE strengths that exist outside an existing research base. Providers carrying out such often work in areas essential to support Industrial Strategy Goals (for example in the creative industries).

  • We believe that HEIF underpins KE activity and that it is unfair to compare providers who get HEIF with those who get none or very limited amounts.

  • We think there should be additional perspectives or further attention paid to particular areas such as: collaboration between providers with one another and with other educators; SME engagement; and social enterprise.

  • More consideration needs to be given to regional contexts and regional activities.

  • We believe the narrative elements can be strengthened and would be keen for Research England to explore suggestions from the NCCPE and the Social Enterprise Mark CIC.

A copy of GuildHE’s response can be read here.