Live projects help organisations solve real world challenges in collaboration with students.
They usually start with a brief set by the organisation. Projects are referred to as ‘live’ because students work to address a current problem set by an external organisation and deliver the project in real-time, with a defined end result. They bring learning to life and enable students to see first-hand the impact of their interventions and outputs.
HE providers look to recruit organisations whose sector or job roles align with the course or programme of study. There is no cost to the business, just a commitment in time. Employers benefit from getting fresh perspectives on a piece of work, and introducing their organisation to potential future recruits.
Live projects provide students with the opportunity to develop their communication skills and collaborate within a peer group and external teams. The projects provide a tangible example of how they have applied their learning, something they can bring into job applications and interviews. They learn how to operate within the constraints the brief presents, honing key employment skills such as:
- Team working
- Stakeholder management
- Responding to a client/brief
- Time management
- Project management
- Presentation skills
An alternative approach is for an employer to run a competition or challenge which students respond to.
Live projects are included in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Businesses can connect with researchers and graduate to gain insights which will provide solutions for specific business needs.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) are specific projects designed to boost company innovation, competitiveness, profitability, and/or productivity. The project is designed to respond to a key issue or priority that is strategically significant to the business.
KTPs bring together:
- A qualified graduate (known as an Associate), recruited by the higher education provider and embedded within the business or not-for-profit.
- A higher education or research organisation who supervises the Associate and contributes academic and research expertise.
- A UK business or not-for-profit
The relationship between these parties facilitates the transference of academic knowledge to the non-academic partner in a way that can benefit the business.
KTPs is usually a longer-term project delivered over 1-3 years. Subject to a successful funding application, the project will receive funding from the UK government through UK Research and Innovation (typically a 67% contribution for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and 50% for larger businesses). The higher education provider will usually lead and support the funding application process.
KTPs are most frequently offered by universities but can be delivered by college-based higher education providers.
Employer engagement teams will be able to introduce you to the appropriate contact. Please see How to engage with HE Providers for more information.
Research, experts and consultancy
Enterprise & business start-up
Gain support to build a business idea or share your own journey with the next generation of graduates.
Enterprise and entrepreneurial skills are frequently embedded within higher education courses. These are enhanced through opportunities for students to engage with regional entrepreneurs.
HE providers are always keen to connect with businesses willing to share their journeys and provide students with insight on becoming a business owner, being self-employed or managing a portfolio of entrepreneurial initiatives. Businesses can explore partnership opportunities by contacting university and college employer engagement team.
Many providers have staff designated to supporting business start-up. Most frequently this will be targeted at their graduates. Graduates with a business idea, fledgling or developing business, may be able to obtain training, guidance, connections and sometimes funding from their former place of study. Connecting in with a provider’s alumni network is a great way to find out more.