REF 2021 performance
We have major plans to grow our world-class research after making substantial improvements in the latest Research Excellence Framework.
The assessment process, often called the REF, looks at the quality of research at higher education institutions across the UK.
In the 2021 exercise, 68% of Staffordshire University’s research was recognised as either “world-leading” (4*) or “internationally excellent” (3*). This was up from 37% in 2014 when the last REF results were announced. Overall, we were the fourth most improved institution in the country for our impact performance.
We also saw 87% of our research impact judged to be “very considerable” (3*) or “outstanding” (4*) – the two top categories. This reflected our collaborative and innovative approaches, with many of the research projects involving public engagement and place-making.
Now we aim to significantly expand our community of research-active academics so we can build on our existing strengths and cover a wider range of research areas.
This will also have lots of benefits for students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. There will be more opportunity to undertake PhD research, become involved in other research projects, draw on our international connections and work with staff at the cutting edge of their specialism. Staff are also using their research knowledge to inform their teaching and ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant.
In total, 109 members of staff and 244 research outputs were submitted for REF 2021. Staffordshire University entered seven units of assessment: Allied Health, Engineering, Archaeology, Business and Management, Social Work and Social Policy, Art and Design, and Communication and Cultural Studies.
Each unit included research recognised as world-leading. The full results can be accessed via the REF website.