Bradford University's first 5* in the research assessment exercise has been awarded to a department that is facing the axe, writes Alison Utley.
The department of European studies has been struggling with declining recruitment but the university said no decision would be taken until January.
Adrian James, deputy dean of the School of Social and International Studies, said: "We are currently reviewing all of our programmes within the school... of which European studies is one, with the aim of enhancing cross-school teaching and research.
European studies has seen a decline in numbers at undergraduate level in recent years, but we are planning to maintain some aspects of this provision."
The university said 15 out of 18 submissions had retained or improved grades since the last RAE with four departments gaining a 5. The department of European studies has four research units: the Baltic research unit; the European briefing unit; the research unit on European/ Latin American relations and the research unit on Europeanisation.
Kevin Featherstone, head of European studies, said: "To know that our academic peers judge our research to be of the standard of international excellence is gratifying."