GuildHE was pleased to hear the extent of consistency in the responses received to the Research Excellence Framework consulted on by the funding bodies through HEFCE.
Alice Hynes, CEO of GuildHE, said: “It is good that HEFCE remains robustly determined to measure and fund research work on the basis of excellence. GuildHE had pressed HEFCE to recognise the HE sector’s concerns about the part “impact” will play in the new processes. While seeking to support the strengthening of this aspect of judgement its members looked for much greater assurance on the validity of its operation given the stage of pilot. The continuing detailed consideration throughout the pilot phase and testing of it across all subject areas is critical, to give research colleagues adequate confidence in the new measurements.
She added, “The search to strengthen the analysis and at the same time reduce the burden on institutions is welcomed, but concepts of “critical mass” applied to research work and ideas that research will necessarily benefit from a manufacturers view of “economies of scale” should be used with some care. The integration of UoAs and having four main panels will also improve the chance of greater cross unit comparability and consistency of judgement.”
1. The HEFCE report is available on the HEFCE website at: www.hefce.ac.uk/ref
2. The GuildHE member’s institutions were successful in gaining recognition for niche areas of research work in the RAE 2008 claiming “islands of excellence” and significant work in both 4 and 3 star categories.
3. The GuildHE through Buckinghamshire New University is launching the CREST – Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training see https://www.guildhe.ac.uk/en/associations/crest.cfm