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Warwick repeats top 10 success in UK research ranking exercise - 14 Departments ranked in UK top 10

The University Warwick is delighted to have repeated its top 10 success in the Government’s research ranking exercise which helps set a significant part of the Government’s research funding for universities for the next 6 years. Warwick was ranked as the 7th highest university in the 2014 rankings announced today, Thursday 18th December, repeating its successful 7th place ranking in the last such exercise in 2008. Fourteen of Warwick’s academic departments were also ranked in the top 10 in the UK. Those departments are:

  • English 1st
  • Agriculture, Food and Veterinary research in the current School of Life Sciences 2nd
  • Computer Science 2nd
  • Mathematics Institute 3rd
  • Statistics 3rd
  • Philosophy 4th
  • Economics 5th
  • Chemistry 6th
  • Politics 6th
  • Film and Television Studies 6th
  • Theatre Studies and The Centre for Cultural Policy Studies 6th
  • History 7th
  • Classics 8th
  • School of Law 10th

Adding to this success, on actual research outputs 19 of Warwick’s departments were ranked in the top 10 in the UK and 4 were ranked as the leading academic departments in the country.

The ranking exercise known as the “Research Excellence Framework (REF)” is run by the UK’s higher education funding bodies, to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the distribution of public funds for research until the next ranking exercise in 2020. The exercise decides what proportion of a Universities research falls into 4 “star” categories. On top of its overall top 10 ranking The University of Warwick also saw significant increases in the amount of its research deemed to be in the top two research categories of 4* and 3*:

  • 4* (up from 21% to 37%)
  • 3* (up from 44% to 50%)
  • 4* and 3* together (up from 65% to 87%)

Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said:

“Warwick is about to enter its 50th anniversary year and this is a wonderful way to begin those celebrations. This result is the outcome of much hard work and commitment on a great many staff at Warwick. And it confirms Warwick’s reputation as one of the UK’s and world’s leading research universities.”

Link to THE table showing Warwick ranked 7th for Universities / multi discipline institutions
NB this table includes one other non multi discipline institution, and it requires registrartion at THE to view:

Notes for Editors:

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The four UK higher education funding bodies allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

Aims of the Research Excellence Framework

To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities’ research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and was last conducted in 2008.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the RAE. It assessed the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines. The results will be published in December 2014 and will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16.

As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

REF2014 key facts

● 154 UK universities took part. They made 1,911 submissions for:

– 52,077 academic staff

– 191,232 research outputs

– 6,975 impact case studies.

● 36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels

● around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results.

Note on the four bodies -The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and Department for Education, Northern Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy
University of Warwick, email:
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708
Mobile/Cell: +44 (0)7767 655860

PR400 18th December 2014