Huddersfield ranks in Top Third for REF2021

THE University of Huddersfield is celebrating its success in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF2021). Ranked 92 in 2008, rising to 67 in 2014 and now ranked 50th (out of 157 institutions) in 2021, it is now placed in the top third of institutions in terms of research power. Its research strategy has ensured significant growth in its research power across the institution.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. It assesses world-class research which ensures excellent teaching and real-world impact on society. Indeed, three quarters of all University of Huddersfield research is world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact.

Powerful player in research

The University of Huddersfield’s key achievements in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework include its growth in research power. Over two thirds of its research portfolio is world-leading and internationally renowned. It sits in the Top 20 universities for increasing its research power since 2014 and it now ranks as 50th in the UK overall.

Diverse research portfolio

Huddersfield made submissions in 19 Units of Assessment from a diverse range of subject areas, of which seven are new emerging areas of research for the University. It continues to expand its research by providing new researchers with the opportunity to develop their area of expertise and pursue their research careers. It has also seen a 227% increase in research income since 2014 (when the last REF took place).

The REF2021 results revealed the following areas of research strength for the University:

Music:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

– 85% of all overall research being world-leading and internationally excellent

– In the Top 10 for research power

Biological Sciences:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

Architecture and Built Environment:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

Social Work and Social Policy:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

– 80% of all overall research being world-leading and internationally excellent

– In the top 50% for research power

English Language and Literature:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

– 90% of all overall research being world-leading and internationally excellent

History:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

Communication and Media Studies:

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research environment

– 100% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

– 90% of all overall research being world-leading and internationally excellent

Engineering:

– Greater than 80% world-leading and internationally excellent for outputs

– 50% world-leading and internationally excellent for research impact

Art and Design:

– In the top 50% for research power

Education:

– In the top 50% for research power

Business and Management Studies:

– In the top 50% for research power

“I am delighted with this REF outcome which represents many years of sustained effort by colleagues, from across the University, both academic and professional services. We have achieved some outstanding results and our overall increase in research power puts us in a very strong position going forward. I am tremendously proud of Team Huddersfield and would like to thank colleagues for all that they have done and continue to do to secure our success.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan

“Our aim has been to strengthen research activity right across the institution and this result demonstrates that our approach is working. We will celebrate these excellent results and continue to build on the progress we have made and to further increase the quality, quantity and impact of the research we produce.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Innovation and Knowledge Exchange, Professor Andrew Ball

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE).

The funding bodies aim to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education.

The University of Huddersfield will continue to build on this success. Its increase in research power and its breadth of academic staff in the upper decile for the percentage of staff with PhDs, (which places it in the top five universities in England for PhD qualified staff), forms a strong position for the next Research Excellence Framework, for which plans are already being made.

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