UWE more than doubles its research funding

Issue date: 05 March 2009

A microscope The University of the West of England, Bristol is one of the biggest winners following the financial outcome of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Figures announced today by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) show that UWE has increased its research funding allocation by a massive 122%. This represents one of the biggest increases in the country.*

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor said, “This outcome is fantastic news for UWE and a fitting reward for the excellent RAE results announced in December. In particular, it establishes our position as both one of the leading post-1992 universities for research and one of the fastest growing research institutions in the country.”

The RAE2008 results showed that over a third (37%) of research carried out at UWE was considered to be world-leading or internationally excellent **. The results highlighted the significant presence of world-leading research in biomedical sciences, art and design and in communication, cultural and media studies. They also show high levels of international excellence across a range of subjects including computer science, engineering, linguistics, accountancy and finance, town and country planning, plant science, nursing, history and architecture and built environment.

As a result of the RAE, which assesses the quality of research in Higher Education across the UK, HEFCE has today announced its funding allocations for 2009/10. UWE has increased its funding from £2.75m in 2008/9 to £6.10m, a massive increase of £3.35m and 122%.

According to Professor West, “The extent of this success recognises our commitment to growing a strong platform of outstanding research as well as rewarding exceptional performances in areas such as biomedical sciences, the creative arts and media. We pride ourselves on the extensive collaborations that fuel much of our best research and which has been recognised in the performance of areas that the Government is seeking to promote such as environment, technology and health. This funding boost will enable us to reinforce our mission to grow research in partnership with a range of stakeholders; to do research that has value and impact in society. We also need to invest in early career researchers to grow and sustain both existing and exciting new areas of research.”

UWE's success in the RAE is coupled with having been the most successful post-1992 university in bidding to the UK Research Councils last year and will lead to a total research income for the University in 2009/10 of around £15m.

Editor's notes

* 'HEFCE invests nearly £8 billion in higher education in England to secure future prosperity'

** For detailed results of the 2008 RAE for UWE.See:
Over a third of UWE research is internationally excellent

UWE RAE 2008 results

The RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) assesses the quality of research in Higher Education in the UK. Universities make submissions in subject areas they choose according to a set of guidelines. These are then assessed by a series of panels – with altogether around 1,000 panel members - who make judgments against 'quality profiles.'

All universities who receive research funding can make submissions to the RAE which are then assessed. The results of the RAE inform future research funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The last RAE was in 2001. 2008 will be the 6th RAE since it was introduced in 1986 and this year's RAE will be the last. In future a new system will be introduced, the Research Excellence Framework (REF). http://www.rae.ac.uk

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