The results for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 have been released. They are outstanding for Cardiff Metropolitan University. The REF news item in today's Times Higher Education reports:
"The highest ranking post-1992 institution is Cardiff Metropolitan University, in 41st place – although it entered only 35 researchers to three units of assessment. The next highest, the University of Brighton, is joint 58th, having entered 209 researchers in 10 units. Both institutions were aided by strong showings on impact. Brighton is the top ranked post-1992 institution on impact GPA, in joint 27th. Cardiff Met is the next highest, in 50th."
This represents a rise of 62 places from the overall position of 103rd in the Research Assessment Exercise in 2008, with 80% of the University's overall quality profile rated as 'world leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*). For impact, the proportion rated as 3* or 4* is even better at 83%.
Across Wales, a third of Welsh university research is 'world class' (BBC News Wales), which has doubled in the last six years. The quality of the contribution made by Cardiff Met is significant with a quarter of all research identified as 'world leading' with 4* research identified in all units of assessment. Importantly too, as noted by WalesOnline:
"… in a real coup for the Welsh sector, the nation's universities are impacting more outside of academia than any of the home nations – its research said to be benefiting the economy, society, culture and wider public policy."
Cardiff Met made two joint submissions with other Welsh Universities. The first, with Bangor University, under the auspices of the Institute for Research Excellence in Sport and Exercise, was based on a 20 year history of collaboration. Ranked 7th in its unit of assessment overall, 40% of the submission was rated as 'world leading' (4*), and a further 47% as 'internationally excellent' (3*). Impressively, all of the submission's impact was rated as 4* or 3*.
The second joint submission was the Wales Institute for Research in Art and Design (WIRAD) with Cardiff School of Art and Design and the National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR) in partnership with the University of South Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Building on the success of a joint submission to RAE 2008, the proportion of 4* research quality was raised to 23%, and the submission was ranked 18th equal in the unit of assessment for impact.
The quality profile for the submission made by the Cardiff School of Health Sciences comprised 74% as either 'world leading' (4*) or 'Internationally excellent' (3*) - more than four times the proportion of previous submission in 2008. 77.8% of the outputs and 87.5% of the environment were also rated 4* or 3*.
Professor Antony Chapman, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff Met, said: "I am delighted that the commitment to excellence that has driven our strategic focus for research has been recognised in this outstanding performance in the REF 2014. High quality research is core to our values and mission at Cardiff Met and is essential to our learning environment and to our knowledge transfer endeavours. We are very proud of our research, of our researchers and of our contribution to world leading collaborative research in Wales."
Professor Sheldon Hanton, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), said: "At Cardiff Met we have a long history of close links with industry sectors and other stake-holders in the wider community. The REF 2014 results for the impact of our research outside academia are a ringing endorsement of these partnerships, and of the excellence of this aspect of our work. All of the impact in our joint submissions was rated as either world leading or internationally excellent."
Notes to Editors
To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities' research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise
(RAE), and was last conducted in 2008
As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities
154 UK universities took part. They made 1,911 submissions for:
52,077 academic staff
191,232 research outputs
6,975 impact case studies
36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels