Students: Here's how KE helps your CV!

Students: Here's how KE helps your CV!
Knowledge Exchange projects enable students to sharpen their professional development. Source: Christina Wocintec/Unsplash

Knowledge Exchange (KE) is an umbrella term that encapsulates a variety of ways in which we can engage and collaborate with businesses, community groups, SMEs, charities and more!

ATTP defines Knowledge Exchange (also known as Knowledge Transfer and Technology Transfer) as:

“A collaborative, creative endeavour that translates knowledge and research into impact in society and the economy.”

KE activities range from problem-solving projects such as consultancy, joint research and prototyping to people-based projects such as student placements and curriculum development. The broad array of activities means that there is something to suit every individual.

Despite KE being so impactful to society in several ways, it’s a term that students often misunderstand which can often lead to some missed golden opportunities!

For students, engaging in KE activities can also lead to incredible benefits. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of them...

Gain real-world experience

Many graduates are thrown into the deep end upon starting their first industry job. This can be incredibly daunting.

Engaging in KE enables you to test your course knowledge in real-life, practical settings that provide you with loads of valuable skills. You will be able to gain real-world experience and make valuable industry connections.

Why not get stuck in and put the knowledge you have learnt in the classroom into practice?

Two Young Men Look at Laptop
Knowledge Exchange connects aspiring students to advantageous career opportunities. Img Source: LI Sales Solution/Unsplash

SKETCH is an example of a KE project designed by the Queen Mary University of London to provide its students with valuable industry experience.

The student-led professional services programme delivers support to local businesses and communities regarding legal support and advice, consultancy, financial guidance, funding and support, and more. Students can put their learning into practice and experience the world of work by helping the local community.

Increase your employability

One of the most common problems we often hear from postgraduates seeking their first job in the industry is employers demanding experience.

For graduate job seekers, this can be incredibly frustrating. After all, how can you get industry experience if you’ve only just graduated? The answer to this is through KE activities!

Industry experience, such as a work placement, is consistently associated with improved employment rates. The University of Plymouth's "Innovative Placements Scheme" is a wonderful illustration of this.

Launched during the first UK lockdown, the internship programme was developed using funding received from the Office for Students and Research England funding competition and created to explore the impact of student involvement in Knowledge Exchange.

The placement scheme from the university was designed to support graduates and the creative sector in the wake of the economic effects of Covid-19. It funded students to work remotely with local SMEs for a period of 38 hours. Even in this short amount of time, students were able to truly enhance their employability prospects.

Documental Theatre, a Devon-based theatre company involved in the scheme, was so impressed by the students they collaborated with that they have continued to employ them on a freelance basis!

Through engaging in KE activities with researchers, businesses and charity organisations, you can make and maintain professional connections that could lead to wonderful opportunities.

Broaden your professional horizons by collaborating on a KE project! Img by Surface / Unsplash

Make meaningful contributions

Aside from learning brilliant new skills and applying your knowledge to real-world scenarios, you can make a profound contribution to the world via KE projects and activities.

There are many causes, both locally and globally, that need the skills, knowledge and expertise that you have to really make a difference.

At Keele University, in collaboration with the University of Birmingham, a KE project has been created for students to inspire lasting change in Caribbean communities.

The Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia is home to a developing community called ‘Anse La Raye’. It’s a beautiful hidden gem that is facing many struggles due to the impacts of the modern world and environmental change leading to the town’s fishing economy slowly diminishing. This decline in income and job prospects is leading to increasing poverty.

In response to this, Keele University created a unique Bootcamp experience which tasked students with creating innovative solutions aimed at tackling some of the biggest challenges faced by the community of Anse La Raye.

The students teamed up and designed unique solutions to compete against each other and present the winning solution. Through this Keele KE initiative, students develop valuable skills such as team development and public speaking and help make meaningful contributions to a struggling community.

As you can see from the points discussed and the real-life university case studies shared, participating in KE activities as a student can have incredible outcomes for both yourself and those involved in the project.

Ready to get stuck into a KE activity or project? Get in touch with your Course Director to discover whether there are any upcoming KE projects that you can get involved with!



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