Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange

The Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange (KE) project will build on the University’s successful track record of delivering KE and drive toward understanding and maximising the benefit to students engaging in this type of activity with business and community partners.

The University of Plymouth is one of only 20 Higher Education providers which have been awarded funding from the Office for Students and Research England’s funding competition, designed to explore the impact of student involvement in knowledge exchange.

We’re so thrilled to be part of this innovative Knowledge Exchange project with the University of Plymouth. We’ve previously partnered with its academics sharing world leading research around the use of music and how it impacts on community cohesion and wellbeing and there was much to learn. We believe there is much of value students can experience about diversity and inclusion within the community and arts sectors, and we know how much they can share in return. We look forward to a very impactful and exciting exchange.

Debbie Geraghty, Chief Executive, Plymouth Music Zone


Key priorities for this project include:

  • To evidence how KE activities benefit students and graduates directly – there will be a diverse range of KE activities available to students of varying type, scale, duration and intensity which will be monitored and evaluated to identify elements which maximise the benefit to students.
  • To identify effective practice in KE that benefits students, ensuring knowledge is available to the wider higher education sector – the University will share the best practice developed through this project and the evaluation findings with other higher education institutions, students, businesses and policy makers through a conference, reports and an online Student Knowledge Exchange Toolkit.
  • To address issues of equality of opportunity and diversity and inclusion within existing KE activities that create barriers to students from all backgrounds – through this project there will be a significant focus on identifying and removing potential barriers, ensuring that KE opportunities are inclusive and accessible to all students.

Case study: Developing employability skills in collaboration with award-winning community projects

“Lee (Whittock, manager of PUPOS) put me in contact with a number of different community organisations which kick-started my work search whilst I was still studying. I would be teaching during the day on a Tuesday at Tor Bridge Community College and working at Plymouth Music Zone in the evening. It was great to have a CV full of experience before I’d even finished my degree.” – Jacob Bradshaw, BA (Hons) Music Graduate

Find out more about Jacob's experience

Student Knowledge Exchange Activity 

As part of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Businesses’ commitment to experiential learning, and in recognition of the importance of work experience to employment success, the university already works with students in a number of ways to deliver KE. These include, work placements, studentships and fellowships, Start-up Weekends and project live briefs. This project seeks to connect, consolidate and expand existing initiatives and share good practice between them.

There are a multitude of benefits for the students involved in these activities, including: increased confidence, exposure to professional working culture, improved time management, team working, expanded knowledge of career options, networking skills and increased motivation. This project aims to identify how to maximise and build upon these benefits to share with other Higher Education institutions and create more opportunities for students.

Student KE Academy

Part of the project funding will be invested in the creation of a Student KE Academy which will be available to students in the coming semester. The Student KE Academy will be driven toward equipping students with the skills and behaviours needed to deliver knowledge exchange successfully as well as helping them to translate and articulate their experiences effectively in professional settings, such as during interviews and when writing CVs. 


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