KEF, Levelling Up and SMEs: creating pathways to employment within a crowded market with few buyers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter outlines the ways in which sector-wide Higher Education and UK Government agendas provide clear parameters for action in advancing employability. The Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) has been introduced to complement evaluations in Research (REF) and Teaching (TEF). Indeed, the OfS (Office for Students) and UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) regard each of these evaluations as ‘mutually reinforcing’. KEF has emerged at a time of pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and enhanced understanding of the socio-economic challenges faced within Britain through agendas such as Levelling Up. Students at new universities are disproportionately affected by this period of crisis, since the likes of Northumbria take in much larger numbers of students from lower SES backgrounds. Given the competitiveness of the labour market, particularly outside of London and the South East, there is need to view KEF in the context of employability. This is particularly true of new universities, in which non-vocational subject areas, such as Politics, need to be able to present clear pathways through to employment for prospective students. KEF and Levelling Up grant clear pathways to employability, enabling academics both to create and justify ties to regional SMEs, in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow to ensure the employability of a university graduate
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherEdward Elgar
ISBN (Print)9781803926506
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Dec 2022


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