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Research: Standards

Volume 486: debated on Monday 12 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many institutions assessed in the 2008 research assessment exercise had at least five per cent. of the research activity in one of their submissions rated as (a) four stars, (b) three stars, (c) two stars and (d) one star; and if he will make a statement; (246606)

(2) if he will make it his policy that the Higher Education Funding Council has as objectives for the distribution of quality-related research funding to universities to ensure that (a) world leading, internationally excellent and internationally recognised research is funded wherever it has been found and (b) universities with profiles in research which have received national recognition receive funding.

Of the 159 higher education institutions in the UK that submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise:

150 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 4* quality level in at least one submission;

159 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 3* quality level in at least one submission;

159 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 2* quality level in at least one submission;

157 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 1* quality level in at least one submission.

Results for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise were presented as a quality profile indicating the proportion of research activity in each submission that was judged to reach each quality level.

These figures show that virtually every higher education institution in the United Kingdom that made a submission in the exercise has some research activity assessed to be of world leading quality; and all submitting institutions have some research activity that was assessed as internationally excellent. This is a very strong positive verdict on the strength and diversity of the national research base.

Decisions on allocation of funding arising from the RAE results have not yet been made.