Wed 31 Mar 21
The University of Essex is one of the best universities for engaging with the community and helping generate local growth and regeneration, according to a new Government report.
The first Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), published today by Research England, shows the rich contributions English higher education providers make, both economically and socially, on both local and national levels.
The findings show Essex is performing above average in several key areas. It is in the top 10% for its work with the public and third sector and in the top 20% for its public and community engagement and work on local growth and regeneration. The University also performed well for commercialisation and research partnerships.
Dr Rob Singh, Director of Essex’s Research and Enterprise Office, said: “Benefiting society through our research is part of the DNA of the University of Essex and we have been working hard to establish an even wider range of connections to business and the public sector over the past few years.
“As a result, our collaborative research income has more than doubled in the last four years and the work this has supported is positively impacting the regional and national economy.”
Essex contributes over £500 million to the regional economy annually and, in partnership with government bodies, businesses and charities from regional to international level, puts its research into action to improve people’s lives and inform debates around policy development and implementation.
Key achievements include:
Public and community engagement is key to the University’s vision to “tackle with rigour the questions that matter for people and communities”.
Essex’s three campuses at Colchester, Southend and Loughton are at the heart of their local communities. Through a broad and varied outreach programme, schoolchildren come to explore higher education, businesses work and collaborate with it, visitors attend lectures to learn about its research expertise and audiences enjoy its full and varied arts programme.
Professor Chris Greer, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research (Designate) at Essex, said: “Knowledge exchange and the impact it generates have always been integral to research at Essex. The University’s founding commitment to collaborate with external stakeholders to address the national need continues to drive our current mission: excellence in education and research, for the benefit of individuals and communities. It is in partnership with others, co-producing solutions to the problems that matter, that our research is at its most transformational.
“We are delighted to see the KEF has acknowledged Essex’s excellent track record in its commitment to knowledge exchange and sharing expertise. Our research is wide ranging, ensuring local, national and global communities benefit from the work carried out by our researchers.”
Key public engagement achievements include:
Chief Executive Officer of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “UKRI values the diverse and varied contributions that our higher education institutions make to society. The Knowledge Exchange Framework, published today by Research England, reflects and celebrates this diversity.”