The long-awaited results of the REF 2014, which assesses the quality of research across all university departments in the UK to determine the allocation of around £2 billion in annual research funding, were published on 18 December. Some 154 UK universities took part in the exercise, with specialist subject panels reviewing more than 190,000 research submissions by more than 52,000 academic staff.
Each department’s research is banded into five quality categories:
- 4* (world-leading)
- 3* (internationally excellent)
- 2* (internationally recognised
- 1* (nationally recognised)
Times Higher Education has created an overall quality profile for each institution, and has converted each profile into a grade point average, to provide an overall research quality league table.
The highly specialist Institute of Cancer Research tops the table, with a GPA of 3.40 out of a total of four. Imperial College London, joint 9th in THE’s World University Rankings, takes second place, followed by the London School of Economics in third and the University of Oxford in fourth.
Cardiff University jumped from joint 22nd in the last research assessment exercise in 2008 into sixth place, but the biggest winner in the exercise was King’s College London, which rose 15 places from joint 22nd to 7th.
Cardiff may have risen one place more than King’s but Cardiff dramatically reduced the number of people it submitted for assessment, from over 1,000 last time to 738. In contrast, King’s increased its submitted numbers from 1,172 to 1,369. This means King’s beats Cardiff on research “power” and also means it will get a greater share of the research funding available.
View the full overall REF 2014 results table, as well as rankings of every UK university department, and much more.