REF outcomes 2021: UK’s ‘world-leading’ analysis not confined to elite universities

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


12 Might 2022

UK map

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

Muhammet Camdereli/Getty Photographs

The UK’s “world-leading” analysis isn’t simply restricted to a choose few elite universities, however fairly is distributed throughout the nation, based on the latest UK authorities evaluation of the nation’s educational output.

The evaluation by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) crew is predicated on seven years’ value of labor performed by universities. It assesses the standard of a college’s analysis output when it comes to how extremely cited it’s and the influence it has had in each academia and the broader world. In contrast to in 2014, the final time this evaluation was performed, the REF crew put a better emphasis on the broader long-term influence {that a} piece of analysis has had on the UK’s economic system, setting and high quality of life.

The outcomes will assist UK authorities funding our bodies determine easy methods to allocate £2 billion value of grant cash between universities every year.

“There’s plenty of myths about the place our analysis excellence is, however the fact is that it’s extra broadly distributed, because the outcomes from this train present,” says Steven Hill at Analysis England, chair of the REF steering group.

Greater than 185,000 items of analysis have been submitted by 157 universities to the REF crew, which have been reviewed by 34 skilled panels. The panels have been cut up into 4 important classes: life and medical sciences, bodily sciences, social sciences and humanities and humanities.

The crew discovered that 41 per cent of the analysis submitted was thought-about of the very best high quality, which the REF crew termed “world-leading”. In the meantime, 43 per cent of the analysis was ranked “internationally wonderful”. Greater than 80 per cent of the analysis assessed at each these ranges of high quality was present in each area and nation within the UK.

Almost all universities who submitted analysis to the REF crew have been discovered to have at the least a few of their exercise judged as “world-leading”. “There’s a very even distribution of analysis excellence throughout the UK,” says Hill.

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

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

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