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HE-BCI survey

The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HE-BCI Survey) is commissioned by Research England. It measures the volume and direction of interactions between UK Higher Education Institutions and business and the wider community.

The survey has collected data for each academic year from 1999/2000. Participation in the HE-BCI is statutory for all UK HEIs.

HE-BCI Survey data is used by Research England to:

  • Assist in the production of third stream activity information
  • Assist in the production of management information
  • Support policy development
  • Provide metrics to drive the allocation of public funds
  • Further develop HEIs' infrastructure in this area

Submitting a strong HE-BCI return helps to guarantee that the OU receives a good allocation of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF). As the data used to calculate HEIF allocations are drawn predominantly from the HE-BCI Survey. The Research and Enterprise team in the Research, Scholarship and Enterprise Unit (RES) manages the collection of data for the survey.

Completing the survey

The HE-BCI Survey is split into two parts – Part A and Part B.

  • Part A is a qualitative questionnaire that collects information on strategy; infrastructure; intellectual property; social, community, cultural; regeneration; education and continuing professional development (CPD). This data provides invaluable information (at institutional as well as regional and national levels) for HEIs and policy makers.
  • Part B of the HE-BCI Survey collects numeric and financial data on third stream activity. Most of this data is provided by central RES and Finance colleagues.

Faculty Input

Faculties and academic units are asked to provide data on the following: 

  • Staff start ups
  • Patents filed by organisations outside the OU
  • Public events

There are two ways to submit this information. Data can be submitted via SharePoint at any time of the year or via a spreadsheet circulated during the annual collection each October.