The Research Framework, an assessment of research output at UK universities, found that “world-leading” research is spreading across the country rather than concentrated in a few elite institutions.


May 12, 2022

UK research called ‘world leading’

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The UK’s “leading in the world” research is not limited to a few selected elite universities, but rather spreads across the country, according to last Analysis by the UK Government of the country’s academic performance.

The analysis of Framework of Excellence (REF) the team is based on seven years of work done by universities. It assesses the quality of the university’s research output in terms of how highly it is cited and the impact it has had on academia and around the world. Unlike in 2014, the last time this analysis was carried out, the REF team placed more emphasis on the wider long-term impact that a study has on the UK’s economy, environment and quality of life.

The results will help UK government funding bodies decide how to distribute £ 2 billion in grants to universities each year.

“There are many myths about where our scientific achievements are, but the truth is that they are more widespread, as the results of this exercise show,” he said. Stephen Hill in Research England, Chair of the REF Steering Group.

More than 185,000 studies were sent from 157 universities to the REF team, which were reviewed by 34 expert panels. The panels were divided into four main categories: life and medical sciences, physical sciences, social sciences and arts, and humanities.

The team found that 41% of the research presented was considered to be of the highest quality, which the REF team called “world leaders”. Meanwhile, 43% of studies are classified as “excellent internationally”. More than 80% of the studies evaluated at both quality levels were found in each region and nation in the United Kingdom.

It has been found that almost all universities that have sent research to the REF team have at least some of their work as “world-leading”. “There is a really even distribution of scientific achievements in the United Kingdom,” said Hill.

Comparisons with previous analyzes made by REF are difficult to make due to methodological changes, but the 2014 REF report found that only 30 percent from the presented study is “world leading”.

“Universities play a key role in providing ideas and skills to nurture the regional economy that surrounds them,” he said. Brian Walker at the University of Newcastle, UK. “In less prosperous regions, these contributions from universities are disproportionately important.”

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