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

Worried man wiping forehead
Two academics explain how to beat some of the typical anxieties associated with a doctoral degree
A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy