Skip to Content
Back to resources
Published by

Dr Danielle Beswick and Dr Marc Geddes

16 April 2020, 4:24 UTC Share

Evaluating academic engagement with UK legislatures: Exchanging knowledge on knowledge exchange

This research emerged from consultation with the four UK legislatures in early 2019:

– The Scottish Parliament
– The National Assembly for Wales
– The Northern Ireland Assembly and,
– The UK Parliament.

In recent years, these legislatures have sought to increase and improve the work they do with universities and to encourage academics to increase and improve the contribution of their research to the work of legislatures. Such work aims to support evidence-informed scrutiny and law-making within each legislature, serving to maximise the public value of academic research findings in the UK. Legislatures’ aims resonate with those of UK universities, which face a combination of increasing pressure and incentives to demonstrate the contribution of publicly-funded research to improving society through, for example, the REF and KEF.

Against this backdrop, this project explores knowledge exchange between the UK’s legislatures and UK universities. It addresses the challenges of defining KE, which are themselves connected to challenges of defining and measuring the effectiveness of KE. The project also identifies a range of KE activities between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), researchers and universities, and legislatures.

The project found that:

– Knowledge exchange is interpreted differently by a range of different groups, which has meant that (i) occasionally processes remain difficult to understand but also that (ii) the UK’s four legislatures undertake a significant amount of these activities
– KE benefits universities and legislatures beyond REF-defined ‘impact’ and therefore KE can be evaluated in its own right in terms of characteristics of engagement.

The authors of the report explain the key findings of their report in this blog for UPEN.
You can follow updates on other outputs and publications from the project website.

Back to resources