Hesa to release 'contextual' staff data for REF

The proportion of staff submitted by each unit of assessment to the 2014 research excellence framework will become clear for the first time after the Higher Education Statistics Agency announced it will release statistics on the number of academics eligible to be submitted.

January 9, 2013

In previous rounds of the REF, when it was known as the research assessment exercise, it was not possible for observers to measure precisely the proportion of staff submitted because accurate data on the total number of eligible staff was not available.

Many critics believe this has encouraged “game playing”, whereby some units of assessment have submitted only their top researchers in order to maximize their position in league tables.

Hesa’s publication of the “contextual data” - which it will do “within a week” of the announcement of the main REF results - will allow the compilers of league tables to introduce a weighting factor for the proportion of staff submitted, which would mark down those units of assessment that only submit a small proportion of their staff.

The agency will publish each individual unit of assessment’s numbers of staff, excluding research assistants, whose contracts stipulate a research role or teaching and research post, and are working at an institution for at least a fifth of a full-time role. They must also be active on the census date of 31 October.

Hesa will also calculate the number of full-time equivalent staff that are eligible for the REF. The results of the next REF will be announced in December 2014.

paul.jump@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry