Canterbury Christ Church University Campus at night

31 March 2021

KEF results highlight importance of Canterbury Christ Church University to the region

UK Research and Innovation has today published the headline Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) results for UK Universities. 

Canterbury Christ Church University is in the top 30% for public and community engagement, and working with the public and third sector. It is also in the top 10% for research partnerships, highlighting its strong and prominent role as a civic university for the region. 

Our areas of strength in the KEF reflect the University’s mission to transform lives, and our commitment to public service, widening access to higher education and enriching communities. For decades we have been a major contributor to regional and national public services, particularly in health, teacher education and policing, a contribution that is set to grow further with the recent opening of the joint Kent and Medway Medical School (KMMS) with the University of Kent. 

Our strength in public and community engagement is demonstrated in many ways including through our work to promote volunteering and our rich programme of outreach activities. Since 2017, colleagues and students have contributed more than 20,000 volunteering hours and our outreach work includes major projects to support, inspire and raise the aspirations of young people including the STEM Hub, Community Lab (in partnership with Pfizer) and Epistemic Insight (in partnership with Templeton World Charity Foundation).    

We have worked across the region, nationally and internationally to build our strengths in research partnerships, from our embedded collaborations with science and technology SMEs in our Industry Liaison Laboratory at Discovery Park in Sandwich, to the international networks built by our Sidney De Haan Research Centre to deliver creative arts interventions to address long-term chronic health conditions. Nationally, our Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR) has delivered evidence-based enhancements to the Change 4 Life campaign in schools to enable more young people to become more active, and our National Institute for Christian Education Research (NICER) has supported the development of the Statutory Inspection Framework for Anglican and Methodist Schools.   

"Today’s results demonstrate the importance of higher education to the national economy and society. Our particular strengths in the KEF highlight the range, diversity and impact of our University’s role in the region.

"We are immensely proud to be part of Kent and Medway, and to work alongside our many regional partners to enable the South East region’s growth, resilience and vitality, supporting the economy and community to survive and thrive as we respond to and emerge from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. "

Professor Mike Weed, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at Christ Church

The KEF results focus on seven areas in which universities typically exchange knowledge with external partners for economic and societal benefit. The results are calculated by taking an average of the last three years’ data (16/17; 17/18; 18/19) across the seven equally weighted areas.   

So that institutions can be compared fairly, universities are grouped into clusters with similar institutions. Christ Church is in a cluster with 16 other mid-sized universities that are more teaching-led but research active.

The narrative parts of our KEF profile also highlights our investment and support for local and regional regeneration and skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship, and our ambitions for working with business, though these are not yet reflected in the quantitative data.  

The KEF also explores opportunities for further development in specific areas, including Commercialisation and growth of Intellectual Property. Other development areas include local growth and regeneration; skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship; and working with business. These are important areas of investment for the University, with significant collaboration and major strategic projects already underway. 

Christ Church recently opened a new £65m Verena Holmes STEM facility, which will create extensive opportunity to engage and collaborate with industries and businesses across Kent and Medway. The Kent and Medway Engineering, Design, Growth and Enterprise (EDGE) Hub, a partnership between the University and industry, has huge potential to support local regeneration, recognised in £14m funding from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Office for Students, and Garfield Weston Foundation

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Emma Grafton-Williams
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T: +44 (0)1227 923528

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Last edited: 15/01/2020 11:19:00