All together on the REF

July 21, 2011

We are writing on behalf of the UK's four higher education funding bodies to highlight an error in your article "Equality to score higher in REF" (14 July).

In detailing many of the key measures in support of equality in the research excellence framework, you attributed ownership of the REF exclusively to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

As detailed in the REF's assessment framework and guidance on submissions, the exercise is conducted jointly by Hefce, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland. It is managed by a Hefce-based team on behalf of the funders and is overseen by the REF steering group, consisting of representatives of the four bodies.

It is important that the UK's universities are aware that the REF is being developed and overseen by all four funding bodies.

Roger Carter, head of research, business and communities, HEFCW; Paul Hagan, director of research and innovation, SFC; Fergus Devitt, director of higher education, DEL, Northern Ireland; David Sweeney, director of research, innovation and skills, Hefce

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