Concordat for the Advancement of Knowledge Exchange in Higher Education
A key and growing part of the role of universities is proactive knowledge exchange (KE), which is defined as a collaborative, creative endeavour which translates knowledge and research into impact in society and the economy. Knowledge exchange includes a set of activities, processes and skills that enable close collaboration between universities and partner organisations to deliver commercial, environmental, cultural and place-based benefits, opportunities for students, and increased prosperity.
At Edinburgh Napier, Knowledge Exchange spans the boundaries of all areas and functions of the University. We all have a role to play in enhancing knowledge exchange activity through our teaching, research, public outreach, internal and external communications, student engagement and external partnerships.
In 2021, Edinburgh Napier, alongside 136 fellow Higher Education providers, committed to developing our knowledge exchange activity to drive economic, social and cultural recovery and growth.
The KE concordat offers a route to evidence this commitment by adopting the 8 Guiding Principles of good practice:
2. Policies and Processes
4. Working transparently and ethically
5. Capacity Building
6. Recognition and Rewards
7. Continuous Improvement
8. Evaluating Success
Phase 1 self-evaluation and gap analysis activity was completed during a three-week ‘quick sprint’ period in June 2022. A broad range of academic and professional services staff from across the University took part in a series of online workshops and activities, designed to provide participants with sufficient knowledge on our current and planned KE activity, to allow for informed assessment of our current position against the 8 Guiding Principles.
The qualitative and quantitative feedback generated by this activity informed the creation of a KE Concordat Action Plan, which was approved by the University’s Research & Innovation Committee in July 2022.
The Action Plan proposes the establishment of 5 workstreams to progress KE activity in the following key areas:
Seeking your input to Phase 2 – Action Plan development and implementation
As Phase 2 implementation commences in 2022-23, it is anticipated that initial activity will focus on refining the remits and memberships of the workstreams, which will consult further with relevant stakeholders, to ensure correlation with other University initiatives/concordats and school plans, equipping them to devise and implement practical solutions in future phases. In order for the KE Action Plan to have appropriate scope to reflect our strategic ambitions and to be meaningful to the entire University community, it is important to ensure that it is co-developed in partnership with staff, students and external partners.
A call for interest will be communicated in due course.
The project is being led by Linda Wallace, Head of Knowledge Exchange.
Recognising the broad remit of the KE Concordat which span the entire University, the project is sponsored by the Vice-Principal Research and Innovation and the Vice-Principal Learning and Teaching and has the endorsement of the Principal.
The University's Research and Innovation Committee will act as the primary oversight committee for reporting and monitoring progress of the KE Concordat project.
Appropriate updates will be reported upwards to Academic Board and through SLT.
The KE concordat creates a further opportunity for universities to better illustrate how and what they do, and how they aim to improve. For more information or any questions, please contact KEConcordat@napier.ac.uk
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