So far 2020 has given us a kick start on social enterprise, with a new European (country based) report that focuses upon “Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe” and provides insights for those looking for a standardised approach to social enterprises as well as explorations of entrepreneurial eco-systems. It has also given us a new UK minster for universities, Michelle Donelan (Feb 2020). Observers see this appointment as further indication that the UK government is looking to universities to deliver on research and innovation in a post-Brexit economy as the ministerial brief has been split from science. This is the first time that the responsibilities have been changed since 2010.
In addition, we have a new Labour leader on the horizon, and HEPI has shared their understanding of candidates’ views on HE which includes expectations on civic universities and concern for the impact of Brexit on research.
January also brought us the KEF Decision Report which will see this first year of KEF running with minimal changes to the skills, enterprise and entrepreneurship perspective. We are already open to hearing members experiences and are looking to influence KEF2 to showcase more “exchange” than “knowledge transfer” and put students at the heart of this.
We are also starting to see the beginnings of post-Brexit changes, including:
1) an update from The IPO (overview of the change) in copyright, IP and patents after the current transition period ends
2) New visa for staff appointments: By Feb 20th there will be a new Global Talent scheme which will replace the Exceptional Talent route. This will be managed by UK Research and Innovation rather than the Home Office, a move which is thought to be highly significant in supporting EU researchers are expected to need visas to work in the country after freedom of movement ends.
EEUK is currently connecting with the Home Office as we support members creating pathways for international students and we will continue to keep you briefed on all changes that will impact on our work.
We are also continuing our work on metrics as we seek to shine a light on the range of activity EEUK members undertake. We are now actively looking for metrics to support the review of HE-BCI and will be asking you for ideas. Ideally we will be seeking to apply the KEF principles which seek metrics that are:
- Useful – data are informative and say something useful about KE activity
- Robust – data are from reliable sources, collected to high standards
- Universal – Data are relevant or applicable to most institutions expected to take part in the KEF, but also paying particular regard to RE being asked to design a KEF accessible to the whole of the UK to participate in, if they wished.
- Timely – the collection of the data is consistent and recurring (not one off or infrequent)
- Specific – data are specific enough so that they relate to the actions/strategies enacted by universities.
We welcome your ideas and contributions as we seek your suggestions for what can be captured, with a view to trialing some ideas ourselves, so get in touch!
Alison Price, Head of Policy, EEUK