REF results 2021: UK’s ‘world-leading’ research not confined to elite universities

The Research Excellence Framework, an evaluation of UK universities’ research output, has discovered that “world-leading” research is distributed throughout the nation reasonably than concentrated in a couple of elite establishments


12 May 2022

Research across the UK has been known as “world-leading”

Muhammet Camdereli/Getty Images

The UKs world-leading research isn’t simply restricted to a choose few elite universities, however reasonably is distributed throughout the nation, in accordance to the latest UK authorities evaluation of the countrys tutorial output.

The evaluation by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) staff is predicated on seven years price of labor performed by universities. It assesses the standard of a universitys research output by way of how extremely cited it’s and the influence it has had in each academia and the broader world. Unlike in 2014, the final time this evaluation was performed, the REF staff put a higher emphasis on the broader long-term influence {that a} piece of research has had on the UKs economic system, setting and high quality of life.

The results will assist UK authorities funding our bodies resolve how to allocate 2 billion price of grant cash between universities every year.

Theres plenty of myths about the place our research excellence is, however the fact is that it’s extra broadly distributed, because the results from this train present, says Steven Hill at Research England, chair of the REF steering group.

More than 185,000 items of research had been submitted by 157 universities to the REF staff, which had been reviewed by 34 knowledgeable panels. The panels had been cut up into 4 essential classes: life and medical sciences, bodily sciences, social sciences and humanities and humanities.

The staff discovered that 41 per cent of the research submitted was thought of of the very best high quality, which the REF staff termed world-leading. Meanwhile, 43 per cent of the research was ranked internationally wonderful. More than 80 per cent of the research assessed at each these ranges of high quality was present in each area and nation within the UK.

Nearly all universities who submitted research to the REF staff had been discovered to have not less than a few of their exercise judged as world-leading. Theres a very even distribution of research excellence throughout the UK, says Hill.

Comparisons with earlier analyses made by REF are troublesome to make due to methodological adjustments, however the 2014 REF report discovered that solely 30 per cent of research submitted was world-leading.

“Universities play a key function in offering the concepts and expertise to gasoline the regional economic system that surrounds them, says Brian Walker at Newcastle University, UK. In much less affluent areas, these contributions from universities are disproportionately essential.

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