Higher education-business and community interaction survey

The annual HE-BCI survey examines the exchange of knowledge between universities and the wider world, and informs the strategic direction of 'knowledge exchange' activity that funding bodies and higher education institutions (HEIs) in the UK undertake.

About the survey

The surveys collect financial and output data per academic year. Results are summarised in the annual survey reports which provide information on a range of activities, from the commercialisation of new knowledge, through the delivery of professional training, consultancy and services, to activities intended to have direct social benefits.

These data provide invaluable intelligence for knowledge exchange practitioners and policy makers. The reports also provide an annual in-depth commentary on the extent of and trends in knowledge exchange activity in the UK.

The process is overseen by the HE-BCI Stakeholders group representing the wide spectrum of interested and involved bodies.

Data reported under 'capacity' and 'infrastructure' are a snapshot of the position at a set date (for 2011-12, 31 July 2012). In general two-year comparisons are presented in cash terms while a series of three or more years is shown in real terms.

Process

This is the fourth year data have been collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) as part of the Finance Statistics Return (FSR), the main source of financial information on the total activities of all UK HEIs. Returns should be submitted to HESA by 23 December each year. Survey data can now be obtained from HESA.

2011-12 survey

Data collected for academic year 2011-12 show a continuing increase in the overall exchange of knowledge between UK HEIs and the public, private and third sectors. The growth rate – in cash terms – for the UK is around 4 per cent, from £3,302 million in 2010-11 to £3,431 million. Over the longer term income has risen – in real terms – by 45 per cent since 2003-04.

Table of UK key data from the survey

Key indicators from the HE-BCI survey – 2003-04 to 2011-12 (£millions)

 2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12
Collaborative research 652 623 683 746 758 778 782 887 871
Consultancy 254 263 277 321 364 353 379 377 398
Contract research 696 724 746 873 908 997 1,026 1,072 1,113
Facilities and equipment related services 96 89 103 104 113 117 120 131 139
CPD and CE 356 443 462 542 584 594 604 617 651
Regeneration and development programmes 260 244 260 296 259 183 223 207 180
IP (including sale of shares) 46 67 66 65 72 132 87 71 79
Total 2,360 2,453 2,596 2,947 3,059 3,154 3,221 3,362 3,431
                   
GDP inflator applied to convert cash to real terms values at 2011-12 prices 121% 117% 115% 112% 109% 106% 104% 102% 100%
                   
Outputs from UK HEIs2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12
Patent applications 1,308 1,648 1,536 1,913 1,898 2,097 2,012 2,256 2,274
Patents granted 463 711 577 647 590 653 827 757 826
Formal spin-offs established 167 148 187 226 219 191 273 268 191
Formal spin-offs still active after three years 688 661 746 844 923 982 969 999 998
                   
% UK higher education institutions that provide:2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12
Enquiry point for SMEs n/a 89% 90% 91% 91% 92% 94% 92% 89%
Short bespoke courses on client's premises n/a 78% 80% 84% 83% 84% 87% 84% 84%
Distance learning for businesses n/a 66% 66% 68% 68% 75% 82% 83% 81%
Required contracting system for all consultancy n/a 66% 68% 73% 75% 72% 77% 76% 73%

Source: GDP deflator from National Accounts figures (ONS 28 March 2012)

Previous surveys

Further information

HEFCE has also liaised with other parties active in the field of third stream metrics and indicators. These include:

  • AURIL/UNICO/NUBS (commercialisation survey)
  • AUTM, ProTon Europe, ASTP, EC (international)
  • Russell Group/SPRU (conceptual framework study)
  • CI-HE/Salford University (benchmarking work)
  • SFC (knowledge transfer metrics work)
  • RCUK, especially AHRC (social, civic and cultural indicators).

For more information contact Adrian Day tel 0117 931 7428, e-mail a.day@hefce.ac.uk.

Stakeholders

Alice Frost (Chair) Higher Education Funding Council for England
Catherine Benfield Higher Education Statistics Agency
David Cairncross Confederation of British Industry
Rosa Fernandez Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills
Karen Lewis   Research Councils UK / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council 
Hazel McGraw Scottish Funding Council
Boyd McDowell Department for Employment and Learning
Alisa Miller GuildHE
Carolyn Reeve Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills
Julie Tam Universities UK
Alyson Thomas Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
Officers
Adrian Day Senior Higher Education Policy Adviser, HEFCE
John Halsall

Analyst, HEFCE

Hannah Partridge

Analyst, HEFCE

 

Page last updated 11 June 2013

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