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Help us gather evidence for the HE-BCI consultation on Knowledge Exchange data

Survey and workshops will inform content of 2024 consultation  

In September we wrote an update on progress on the HE-BCI review. Now we are following through on commitments we made then, to launch an evidence-gathering survey and workshops. These will help us develop and refine proposals in a formal consultation with the HE sector on changes to the HE-BCI survey. That consultation is scheduled for spring 2024.

The survey is necessary to gather evidence about the current data recording and preparation practices that underpin HE providers’ HE-BCI returns.

The workshops will develop a model that represents the observed logical entities and relationships that are implied by the HE-BCI physical spreadsheet-based collection.

What’s in the survey?

We previously established six priority areas for the HE-BCI review. We are focussing on the remaining five of these for this survey to build upon where we’ve been evaluating the maturity of user needs, and observing the policy and practice debates. For the survey questions in the remaining priority areas, there are three aims in each section which focus on either:

  • Improving definitions and data quality.
  • Design of new data collection.
  • Supporting wider work and potential future development of metrics in KE.


In commercialisation there is a lot of targeted interest in specific improvements, for example to the UK’s data on spin-off (or spin-out) companies. In this area we’re asking quite targeted questions to help us refine our proposals for future data collection and there are some fundamental definitional matters we’d like your opinion on.

2.Geographic granularity

On geographic granularity or resolution, we are aware of existing data needs (particularly in Scotland) that could be served by the HE-BCI collection and thereby reduce some duplication of activity. We are also aware of interest in geographical data for KE as a factor in place-orientated policy development.

We would like to understand more about how HE providers currently record data on the geography of KE.

3.Social and cultural interactions

4.Equality, diversity & inclusion (EDI)

5.Staff and students as agents of knowledge exchange

We want to know how you handle these aspects of your activity now to  help us understand the complexities and opportunities of data collection. Your answers will inform wider work towards establishing what future metrics could look like.

The survey is available from today, and will remain open until 2024-01-29 – we look forward to hearing from you.

Take the HE-BCI survey now

6.In-kind contributions to collaborative research and partnerships

We announced planned changes to in-kind contributions in September 2023: HE-BCI in-kind consultation outcomes.

You mentioned some workshops?

The second strand of our investigatory work is the development of a logical relational data model based on the HE-BCI survey. We are scheduling a series of workshops around the country for KE data practitioners to help develop and refine the model we are working on.

We anticipate the model being useful to understand potential data quality issues, and to avoid making logical errors in the development of our consultation proposals. We are fortunate to have retained Alex Leigh of ed-connect to provide consultancy on this work.

Workshops will take place during December 2023, and outputs from the work will inform the consultation in spring 2024.

Read more about the workshops

Thank you!

These two strands of work, the evidence-gathering survey and the development of the logical relational data model, will help all our stakeholders to get the best out of the forthcoming consultation. This is currently planned for release in April, and to remain open until May. We really appreciate your engagement and insights at what we know is a very busy time.

Dan Cook

Dan Cook

Deputy Director, Data & Innovation