The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the current system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The meaning of the assessment exercise to universities is great. It allows them to demonstrate the quality and impact of their research work. The Research Excellence Framework was the first exercise to assess the impact of research outside of academia i.e. in society in general. Impact was defined as ‘an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia’.
The value of great research, its training in original thinking and analysis and its ability to keep knowledge fresh and contemporary, to the nation and to the undergraduate and postgraduate student body is something that sets university degrees apart from those available outside of the university system. In 2014 the REF revealed the quality and impact of UK research in universities. The University is committed to submitting its research to the next REF exercise in 2021.
The REF is being carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of all four UK HE funding councils. Full details and updates as information is released can be found on the HEFCE website.
A great deal of our current research has an impact at a local, national and internation level. Refer to our impact page for further details on our collaborative work taking place.
We will publish our full REF results, including details of our impact case studies and units of assessment, following REF2021.