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REF results open to various interpretations

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THE results of the Research Excellence Framework covering the period 2008 to 2013 – ‘REF 2014’ – were published last month, representing the culmination of a detailed and lengthy exercise aimed at providing a measure of the quality and impact of research being conducted in UK universities. The REF has replaced the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) which was previously used to assess the quality of research, the last RAE having been completed in 2008. The outcome will be of considerable importance to universities because, as with the RAE, the results will be used to determine how research funds will be allocated in the years ahead. Although open to various interpretations, the results are also likely to contribute to their ranking in university league tables.

Over 150 universities made submissions to the REF, across a range of specified subject categories, which were then assessed by panels of …

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