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 2012-13, 31 July 2013). In general two-year comparisons are presented in cash terms while a series of three or more years is shown in real terms.

Process

The data has 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.

2012-13 survey

Data collected for academic year 2012-13 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 5 per cent, from £3,431 million in 2011-12 to £3,570 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 2012-13 (£millions) 

 2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13
Collaborative research 672 643 707 772 784 801 798 906 887 951
Consultancy 262 272 287 332 377 363 387 385 405  400
Contract research 717 748 772 903 939 1,026 1,047 1,094 1,113 1,166
CPD and CE 366 458 478 560 604 611 617 630 652 653
Facilities and equipment related services 99 92 106 107 116 121 123 134 141 142
Intellectual property 47 69 69 67 75 136 89 72 81 87
Regeneration and development programmes 268 252 269 306 268 189 227 211 183 172
Grand Total 2,431 2,534 2,688 3,048 3,163 3,246 3,288 3,432 3,462 3,570
GDP inflator applied to convert cash to real terms values at 2011-12 prices 124% 121% 119% 115% 112% 109% 107% 104% 102% 100%
                     
Outputs from UK HEIs2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13
Patent applications 1,308 1,648 1,536 1,913 1,898 2,097 2,012 2,256 2,274 1,942
Patents granted 463 711 577 647 590 653 827 757 826 955
Formal spin-offs established 167 148 187 226 219 191 273 268 191 150
Formal spin-offs still active after three years 688 661 746 844 923 982 969 999 998  975
                     
% UK higher education institutions that provide:2003-042004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12  2012-13
Enquiry point for SMEs n/a 89% 90% 91% 91% 92% 94% 92% 89% 89%
Short bespoke courses on client's premises n/a 78% 80% 84% 83% 84% 87% 84% 84% 86%
Distance learning for businesses n/a 66% 66% 68% 68% 75% 82% 83% 81% 85%
Required contracting system for all consultancy n/a 66% 68% 73% 75% 72% 77% 76% 73% 74%

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.

Page last updated 11 June 2014

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