Three quarters of UWE Bristol research rated 'world leading or internationally excellent'

Issue date: 12 May 2022


Results from a national assessment of the quality of universities’ research reveal that 76 per cent of UWE Bristol’s research output is ‘world leading or internationally excellent’.

This has increased from 61 per cent in the last evaluation carried out in 2014 and shows the rising trajectory of research at the University. 

Released today, the outcomes are from the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) measuring the excellence of research conducted by all UK Higher Education Institutions.

The real-world impact of UWE Bristol’s research was particularly highly rated, with 84 per cent classed as world leading or internationally excellent for its impact on the wider economy and society. Case studies of the University’s outstanding impact work can be found here

There has also been a marked increase in the quality of the University’s research outputs with 74 per cent rated world leading or internationally excellent, up from 56 per cent in 2014.

UWE Bristol’s results demonstrate the success of its commitment to outstanding research with real-world impact set out in its 2030 Strategy

They demonstrate the particular strengths of the University’s research in Architecture, Built Environment & Planning, with 88 per cent of research rated world leading and internationally excellent. Following closely behind were Allied Health Professions (87 per cent), Communication, Cultural and Media Studies (82 per cent), Engineering (81 per cent) and Law (75 per cent). 

One hundred per cent of research in six subjects was rated internationally excellent and world leading for impact – Allied Health; Agriculture & Food Science; Computer Science; Law; Education; and Communication, Cultural & Media Studies.

The REF is conducted every six to seven years by the UK’s Higher Education Research Funding Bodies, measuring the quality and impact of excellence of research conducted by all UK Higher Education Institutions. UWE Bristol submitted the work of over 400 academics including over 900 published outputs and more than 40 case studies of research impact to thirteen subject areas. The results for each subject can be viewed here.

Professor Steve West, UWE Bristol’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “The latest REF results for UWE Bristol are a strong endorsement of our achievements against our strategic goals. They are a firm platform for our ambitious future plans to focus our investment and to grow outstanding research with real economic and social impact. I congratulate my colleagues and commend our results to our partners.”

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