Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange

Access to Knowledge Exchange is one of the biggest unique benefits of being a student at University of Plymouth.

Knowledge Exchange happens every time students connect with businesses and communities to apply the skills being developed on their course, out in the real world. It’s a term we use to describe many activities including, internships, short-term live briefs, student enterprise and on-going projects in collaboration with partner organisations.

Knowledge Exchange Toolbox

We have collated the information that students, staff and business think are key to making the most of this exciting exchange to create a series of tools, that University of Plymouth students and staff can access below:

The activities which will be supported by this project are

Community Impact of Student Knowledge Exchange

Knowledge Exchange delivered by students has a direct and powerful impact on the businesses and organisations that they work with. The skills, knowledge and experience within their subject area that students bring can help businesses to innovate and grow (for example, through the development of new products and services), increase their productivity and resilience.

This longitudinal evaluation will assess the impact on a variety of stakeholders and find ways for us to expand the most significant activity.

By developing resources to support students to engage with Knowledge Exchange we are creating an environment in which knowledge exchange can thrive, students (and the academics working with them) will be equipped with the expertise and confidence needed to ensure every opportunity to exchange knowledge outside of the University, as well as between disciplines, is maximised.

This project enables students to take an active role in the exchange of knowledge, drawing on their subject specialism and lived experience. It helps students recognise the value of their contribution and understand their capacity for positive change by instilling compassion, care and a sense of social justice alongside business acumen. In the process, they are benefitting those they work with, while investigating the notion of meaningful work and contributing to the wider creative and cultural sector’s economic activity.

The Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange project is building on existing and highly successful KE projects within The University of Plymouth, with a drive toward understanding and maximising the benefit to students engaging in KE activity with business and community partners.

The University of Plymouth is one of only twenty 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.

Key priorities for the Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange project:

  • 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, 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.

Conference May 12th 2022 : Further details coming soon. We will be hosting a Student Knowledge Exchange conference to explore the competition findings and share best practice. For further information, register your interest.

For further information on Knowledge Exchange, head to The Bridge

Case study: Developing key 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.

Engaging Students in Knowledge Exchange team