Canterbury Christ Church University’s commitment to working with local businesses, charities, public services and communities, as well as supporting regional economic growth, has been recognised in a national assessment for the Higher Education sector.

Research England’s second Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) is published today. It provides public information across seven key areas, highlighting the rich and diverse ways English universities continue to engage with society, their local communities, and the economy, locally, nationally, and internationally.

The new findings show Canterbury Christ Church University is in the top 20%* of universities for working with the public and third sectors, and in the top 40% of universities in several other key areas, including local and regional regeneration, public and community engagement, and continuing professional development (CPD) and graduate start-ups.

"Today’s Knowledge Exchange Framework results recognise and endorse Canterbury Christ Church University’s commitment and contribution to our local communities and our region, as well as our work to support and enhance local groups, charities, businesses and public services. We are delighted to be ranked in the top 40% of English Universities for the majority of the areas covered by the KEF, including in the top 20% for our wide-ranging and influential work with the region’s public and third sectors. In our Diamond Jubilee year, we are proud to continue to celebrate our long-standing commitment to enabling the local and regional economy to thrive through embedding our expertise and resources within the communities that we have now been serving for six decades."

Professor Mike Weed, Senior Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Enterprise and Business Development)

Businesses and local communities engage with universities in a wide variety of ways, from accessing expertise for research and problem solving, to developing their workforce and recruiting graduates. The KEF demonstrates this range of valuable activities universities conduct with external partners.

Key areas of work by Canterbury Christ Church that demonstrate the breadth and depth of its knowledge exchange activity include:

  • multi-million-pound government funding for the development of the Engineering, Design, Growth & Enterprise (EDGE Hub), as well as a continued partnership with Discovery Park to supercharge regional growth of STEM skills and attract inwards investment
  • award winning Inspiring Minds outreach programme that has engaged with hundreds of local students over the last five years, and encouraged and supported them to explore higher education and study STEM subjects, leading to an improvement in attainment levels
  • over the last four years students and staff have given just under 26,000 hours of volunteering to over 119 registered charities across Kent & Medway
  • delivering a diverse range of knowledge exchange projects in response to Covid-19, such as providing 3D printing templates for personal protective equipment and research by our National Institute for Christian Education Research investigating the impact of Covid-19 related losses on Year 7 pupils
  • the Hi3 Network, a £6m Research, Development, and Innovation project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund that is supporting SMEs in the creative industries to build collaborative partnerships and adopt new immersive technologies
  • supporting lifelong learning and workforce development needs through the provision of over 100 courses for CPD, ranging from short leadership programmes such as Business Lab (in partnership with Locate in Kent) to modules in health and social care such as Dementia Care.

You can view the full results on the KEF’s interactive website.

* Based on 135 Higher Education Institutions

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