The Research Excellence Framework, which assesses research output at UK universities, finds that ‘world-leading’ research is spread across the country rather than concentrated in a few elite institutions
May 12, 2022
“World-leading” research in the UK is not limited to a few elite universities, but is spread across the country. Newest UK government analysis of the country’s academic output.
Analyzed by Research Excellence Framework (REF) The team is based on seven years of work carried out by the university. It assesses the quality of a university’s research output, including how well it is cited and its impact on academia and the wider world. Unlike in 2014, when the analysis was last conducted, the REF team has put more emphasis on the wider long-term impact of a study on the UK economy, environment and quality of life.
The results will help UK government funding agencies decide how to allocate grants worth £2bn a year among universities.
“There are a lot of myths about where our research excellence lies, but the truth is that it is more widely distributed, as the results of this exercise show,” said steven hill Chair of the REF Steering Group at the UK Research Centre.
More than 185,000 studies were submitted to the REF team by 157 universities and reviewed by 34 expert panels. The groups fall into four main categories: Life and Medical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Arts and Humanities.
The team found that 41% of the studies submitted were considered to be of the highest quality, which the REF team described as “world-leading.” Meanwhile, 43% of research was rated as ‘internationally excellent’. More than 80% of studies assessed at these two quality levels were found in every region and country in the UK.
Almost all universities that submitted research to the REF team were found to have at least some activity rated as ‘world leading’. “Research excellence is very evenly distributed across the UK,” Hill said.
Due to changes in methodology, comparisons with previous REF analyses are difficult, but the 2014 REF report found that only 30% The research submitted is “world-leading”.
“Universities play a key role in providing ideas and skills to drive the regional economies that surround them,” said Brian Walker at the University of Newcastle, UK. “These contributions from universities are especially important in less prosperous regions.”
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