IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


UCL project examining the impact of knowledge exchange initiatives receives funding

20 April 2020

UCL has received funding for a project investigating student engagement in knowledge exchange initiatives and the social and economic impact of these activities.

UCL teacher and student discussion

Knowledge exchange activities cover work such as getting involved in business partnerships, engaging with charities and communities, internships and contributing skills to external partner project evaluations.

The project, led by UCL Institute of Education (IOE) academic Professor Andy Green, will assess the economic and social benefits of knowledge exchange initiatives to individual students, external partners, and communities.

Funded by the Office for Students (OfS) and Research England, the UCL project is one of 20 that has been awarded funding to boost students’ involvement in activities which share knowledge and skills beyond the academic community. A total of £10 million has been granted to these projects.

The study led by Professor Green will enable more inclusive participation of diverse groups of students. It will develop and evaluate initiatives where students participate in knowledge exchange activities such as entrepreneurial and start-up training, working with voluntary sector organisations or undertaking placements in policy settings.

The activities will involve master’s students conducting collaborative research as part of their dissertation work, and doctoral students developing business ideas and start-ups. They will also contribute their research skills to external partners to address an evaluation or impact challenge crucial to service delivery or organisational sustainability.

Professor Green said: “Gaining workplace knowledge and skills - through internships and other forms of collaboration with bodies outside the university - are becoming increasingly important for student career opportunities. This project will widen access to these opportunities for students, increasing the attractiveness of our courses, and allowing us to evaluate the benefits they bring to students and the wider community.”