Research at UCLan is recognised as world leading according to national grading in the UK 2021 Research Excellence Framework

Academic staff from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are celebrating after the long-awaited results of the UK 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) have been unveiled.

By Aimee Seddon
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 10:50 am

All 19 academic areas submitted to REF by UCLan have been officially recognised as demonstrating elements of world-leading and internationally excellent research.

In comparison to the university’s last REF submission in 2014, the results highlight a doubling of world-leading research produced by UCLan academics and a doubling of how it has made a difference in the real world, known as impact.

The REF is a government assessment of the quality of research across UK higher education that takes place every seven years, providing accountability for public funding for research and informing the future funding allocation of £1bn per year nationally.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

UCLan's world-leading and international excellent credentials have been highlighted in 19 academic areas.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “Our REF2021 results highlight the strength, diversity and impact of research carried out by the university’s academic community. Many of our researchers are world-leading experts whose work is transforming lives globally and I am enormously proud of their achievements.

“By placing real-world research, innovation and enterprise as a key pillar of our new strategic plan, we look forward to building on these achievements and the opportunities they offer in the coming years.”

UCLan’s top performing area was physics with 90% of the research submission rated as world-leading and internationally excellent overall (4/3-star), followed by social Work and social policy, with 83% of its overall research submission ranked 4/3-star.

The area of allied health scored 79% overall for 4/3-star, modern languages and linguistics scored 75% for 4-star impact, and philosophy, a first-time UCLan entrant to REF, was ranked 8th out of 35 submissions nationally for 4-star impact, with 50% of the research rated as world-leading.

Business and management also scored particularly well in terms of research impact with 100% of its submission being ranked 4/3-star – a substantial increase on REF2014 and in the UK’s top 20% for 4-star impact.

Read More

Read More
Cardinal Newman College student launches a gofund me after winning a scholarship...

Overall, 72% of the university’s submissions have been classified as having outstanding or very considerable impact in terms of reach and significance (in the top 4-star and 3-star categories).

Other disciplines with the best impact ratings include: art and design; history; music, drama, dance, performing arts, film and screen studies.

Professor StJohn Crean, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at UCLan added: “For all 19 of our academic areas to have been officially recognised as demonstrating elements of world-leading and internationally excellent research is exceptional, so I couldn’t be more thrilled with how our academics have risen to the challenge.

“From life sciences and physical sciences, to social sciences, arts and humanities, the impact achieved by our research in health, on lives and on businesses, locally and across the world, is outstanding.

“We have demonstrated our impact in more than 68 countries, reaching 18 million people and organisations while influencing policy locally and globally and this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

UCLan research is also contributing towards UN sustainability goals and two-thirds of its REF2021 Impact Case Studies involve countries receiving Official Development Assistance funding or UK areas ranking in the 25% most deprived nationally.