John Denham announced decision on the development of the Research Excellence Framework in the House of Commons this week. GuildHE members are active in a number of research areas and were interested to hear the Government’s response to the reactions in HEFCE’s consultation.
Professor Andy Cobb, Chair of the GuildHE Research Network and Dean of Academic Affairs at Harper Adams University College commented "The concerns GuildHE expressed about the risks and potential difficulties over the use of metrics remain but my colleagues will be encouraged by the decision to extend the time for designing the new framework. We look forward to have further opportunity to work with HEFCE colleagues on ensuring that the process matches the diverse spread of research activity and is able to recognise and respond to excellence wherever it appears in the sector.
"Alice Hynes Executive Secretary GuildHE added "The GuildHE response to the consultation from HEFCE pointed up the importance of interdisciplinary research work. The decision to develop the REF in such a way that does not, as previously feared, make sharp divisions through some typology of subjects will be more supportive to that interaction between disciplines. With the opportunity to ensure the REF takes suitable account of the range of research which is closer to market as well as theoretic blue sky, a number of GuildHE members will be taking a keen interest in the workability of the new arrangements”.