HE-BCI phase 2 consultation

Closed 31 Mar 2023

Opened 1 Feb 2023


This consultation seeks views on how Jisc can ensure it has the data required to perform its functions and how that data can be collected in a way this is proportionate. By 'proportionate', we mean that the requirements that we place on higher education providers are necessary to perform our regulatory functions.

This consultation forms part of the ongoing HE-BCI major review. A major review is an investigatory project that creates a business case for change. In some cases, the purpose of the review is to develop and ensure the on-going integrity of an existing record or records. As well as reviewing exactly what information is collected, major reviews also enable consideration of the fundamental design of a record including its structure, data items, timing, and consistency with external standards.

Our project mandate provides the background and requirements for the major review of the HE-BCI data collection.

We have used the views expressed in 2019 during the first phase of the review to direct our current work. They included identifying where the central funding bodies and sector requirements align to ensure the collection captures necessary data about knowledge exchange that is reasonable and proportionate to record. 

The review project has identified the following six priority areas of the HE-BCI data collection that require further development to meet our statutory data reporting requirements and consider the requirements expressed by our statutory customers. The six priority areas are:  

  1. Geographic granularity 
  2. 'in-kind' contributions to collaborative research and partnerships 
  3. Social and cultural interactions 
  4. Commercialisation 
  5. Staff and students as agents of knowledge exchange (KE)  
  6. Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI)

We have worked alongside Statutory Customers, providers, sector representatives and member organisations to understand their requirements. This has included horizon scanning of the current and future knowledge exchange policy landscape and working with organisations to ensure the required data is feasible to collect, collate and report to us. This work has helped shape several proposed amendments to the HE-BCI data collection that aim to enhance the measure of value and impact of the diverse activities and engagements between organisations and the community.

Purpose of the consultation

This consultation aims to gather feedback on the proposed amendments relating to the recording of 'in-kind' contributions within the HE-BCI data collection. Working alongside UKRI, the devolved nations and sector organisations we have drafted improved guidance to support providers when submitting data relating to 'in-kind' contributions to collaborative research. We are seeking views on the clarity of the proposed guidance and the burden associated with the revised materials.

We are consulting now as we need to decide on an approach for the C22032 HE-BCI data collection and to allow providers time to prepare.

The proposals in this consultation primarily relate to the information duties under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) (section 64). They have been developed in collaboration with the Higher Education Funding Council Wales (HEFCW), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and the Department for Economy Northern Ireland (DfENI).

Scope and structure of the consultation

This consultation has two parts:

  1. Background to the Higher Education Business and Community Interactions (HE-BCI) data collection. We describe the current Knowledge Exchange (KE) landscape and identify the policy imperatives driving a requirement for improved 'in-kind' data. We also highlight where user requirements are aligned.
  2. Approaches to recording 'in-kind' contributions in the HE-BCI data collection. We propose two approaches to the recording of 'in-kind' contributions in the HE-BCI data collection:

Approach 1: Adopting revised guidance to support the return of 'in-kind' contributions. The first approach includes amendments to six sub-headings of guidance covering the following:

  1. General introduction to 'in-kind' contributions
  2. Definition of 'in-kind' contributions
  3. Types of contributions
  4. Multi-partner projects
  5. Multi-year projects
  6. Collecting and recording – methodologies

Approach 2: Continuation of existing guidance for the reporting of 'in-kind' contributions. The second, discounted approach is to continue using the current published guidance. Current guidance for returning 'in-kind' contributions in Table 1 of the C22032 HE-BCI Data Collection

To enable cross-organisational responses, the consultation is grouped into subjects for different audiences to engage with. When you click 'next step' under each section, you will be returned to the contents page, which tracks your progress through the questions in each section. Please ensure that you read all information supplied in each section before answering the questions. The 'save later' option, also allows multiple users from one organisation to engage with the consultation. Once you click the 'save later' option you will receive a unique link.

Please ensure that you read all information supplied in each section before answering the questions.

For your reference, a PDF of the consultation text is available.

Please note we expect online reponses, but please contact liaison@hesa.ac.uk if you need to submit your responses in another format.

Burden review assessment

In some areas we ask respondents to pick a preferred option from the choices given and complete an associated burden assessment for both the 'setup' and 'run' of these changes. This follows a methodology we have developed to support better understanding of the characteristics of data collection burden. Burden assessment questions are only relevant for HE providers that are or might be required to produce data, and other respondents may ignore these questions. Where burden assessments have been completed the scores will be interpreted alongside the chosen option. We therefore advise reviewing the associated burden before determining your preferred option. 

Burden assessment methodology