I work closely with universities as a consultant, although I'm no longer in the belly of the beast. I had a meeting with some academics recently and they are starting to worry about the KEF. Are you starting to talk about it where you work? Or has it been put in the, "worry about it when it happens" inbox?
It is being discussed at high levels in my university. It mostly hasn't filtered down into departments yet because the guidelines have not been published. There is not a big concern about KEF because in any case there is a push for impact and collaborations outside academia for REF impact cases, accessing industrial strategy funds etc i.e. we believe that we are probably already reasonably placed for KEF.
I've also noticed "Impact" creeping up on some job posts for humanities positions at a couple of RG institutions since the KEF announcement. What do I think of it? It is flawed economically, because economic growth increasingly comes from bottom-up rather than top-down, institutional approaches. More widely, it is the next, inevitable step in the instrumentalisation of higher education, in terms of substituting the pursuit of truth for the pursuit of economic growth and servicing the market. None of this would be necessary if we had kept the original polytechnics, which traditionally served this function. From what I hear Jo Johnson is going to push this through fairly quickly, and in finance terms it could over time become as influential as the REF, so undoubtedly departments are going to be looking to recruit with an eye on it.