Russell Group welcomes the publication of REF consultation

23 September 2009

Responding to the release of the consultation for the new Research Excellence Framework (REF), Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group of 20 leading universities, said:

“In the face of increasing global competition and a severe economic climate it is essential that the UK sustains its leading universities as centres of excellence. So we welcome the release of this consultation on REF, which aims to support and develop the UK’s world leading research base.

“Russell Group universities are confident that they can demonstrate that their excellent research has delivered significant benefits to the economy, society, public policy, culture and quality of life.

“However the links between research and its wider impact are not necessarily straightforward, as HEFCE admits. There are particular challenges in terms of defining the length of time between research and its impacts, how to attribute impacts to research and providing corroborating case studies. This is why the pilot studies are so important to ensure methods of measuring impact are consistent and robust, and that any lessons are learned before the groundwork for REF 2013 is put in place.

“Both HEFCE and the universities should be confident in the new system of measuring impact before it is implemented.”
Note to editors

  1. The consultation on the Research Excellence Framework will be available from the Higher Education Funding Council for England at  and is open until 16th December 2009. The Russell Group will submit a detailed response in due course.

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