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University of Leeds in top 10 for research and impact power

University of Leeds in top 10 for research and impact power

A new assessment of higher education institutions, based on the strength of their research, positions Leeds as one of the top UK universities for research and impact power.

The results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) sees Leeds ranked in 10th place for research power, a measure of the number of people producing the highest quality research.

The assessment identified that over 80% of research at Leeds has a top quality rating of either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.

For the first time, research was also judged on its impact outside academia, such as its effects on the economy, public policy, civil society or culture. The results position the University in 9th place when it comes to the impact power of its research.

University of Leeds’ Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands, said: “Our place as one of the UK’s top ten universities for research and impact power reflects the quality and sheer scale of our research at Leeds.”

“I’d like to thank our academic and professional services staff for all their hard work over many years that has contributed to these results,” Sir Alan Langlands added.

“We have truly outstanding research that makes a real difference to society and the economy, and we can be proud of the depth and breadth of our academic achievements.”

The REF is a robust and internationally-recognised exercise to measure the quality of UK university research. The results are used to allocate around £2 billion of government funding for research each year.

Following results in the last independent assessment in 2008, the University received more than £41 million a year in quality-related research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The next funding allocations are due to be announced in March 2015.

The University of Leeds submitted research spanning the arts and humanities, social sciences, business, physical, biological and environmental sciences, engineering, medicine and health.

Notable successes include:

Over 80% of research received the top rating of 4 stars ('world-leading') or 3 stars ('internationally excellent').
30% of the University’s subject areas are ranked in the top ten in the UK.

Sir Alan continued: 

"Looking forward, we have clear plans and targets to increase the range and volume of world-leading research, alongside our continued commitment to world-class student education. 

“The REF results demonstrate impressive research strengths and we have already made significant investment in PhD studentships and new academic fellows to support these ambitions. Our goal is to build on our reputation as an outstanding research university and we will continue to ensure that the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge remains at the heart of all that we do.”

Further information

For further information, contact the University of Leeds press office at pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk or call 0113 343 4031.

For a full breakdown of the University of Leeds results, the University has created a dedicated REF website: http://ref2014.leeds.ac.uk.

The sector results from the HEFCE website can be found here: http://www.ref.ac.uk.

A selection of case studies, which outline different examples of research impact, can be read here: www.leeds.ac.uk/info/20024/research_and_innovation.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which was last conducted in 2008. The results will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16. Around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results. 

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, and 6,975 impact case studies. 

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