Reports and reviews

Public Engagement in the KEF NCCPE report February 2022

Co-authored by Emma Griffin, Sophie Duncan and Paul Manners

updated on 21 Aug 2023
2 minutes read

This report provides a thematic review of the 117 Public and Community Engagement (P&CE) narratives submitted in October 2020 by English HEIs to the first iteration of the Knowledge Exchange Framework. These narratives reveal rich intelligence about how the English university sector is currently organising its work to support public and community engagement. Our review has explored their strategic approaches; the kinds of support they are investing in; the types of activities they deliver; and the ways in which they are monitoring and evaluating both their practice and their institutional support. An overview of the KEF is provided as an appendix.

There are obvious limitations to the data. While the guidance provided a set of prompts for HEIs to respond to, HEIs had a lot of latitude in how they chose to respond to these, making it hard to draw hard and fast conclusions or comparisons between them. The scope of Public and Community Engagement was left deliberately broad by Research England, resulting in rather different interpretations of where the boundaries might be drawn around the area. And of course, the KEF is a public assessment exercise, so HEIs will have been careful about what they chose to include and exclude. Despite this, we have found enormous value in reviewing the narratives, and have been able to draw out some useful intelligence about the current ‘state of play’ of Public and Community Engagement in the sector. We draw out some overarching conclusions below, before summarising the key findings from each section of the report