Leeds Beckett University is celebrating its growing reputation for research following its best ever assessment results from the UK wide Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF is an assessment of university research activity which is used to determine funding in coming years for universities across the country in a range of subject areas.
In terms of the ‘research power’ calculation applied in the previous assessment in 2008, which accounts for both the quality and the quantity of research, Leeds Beckett came second in the country for Sport and Exercise Science, Leisure and Tourism – up from third in 2008 - with 59% of the research submitted being assessed as world leading or internationally excellent. It also came in the top ten in the Communication, Culture and Media Studies, Library and Information Management unit. The University’s results for the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning unit – which it entered for the first time - were also noteworthy, with 37% of its research being rated world leading or internationally excellent.
The University demonstrated strength in four additional emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy; Computer Science; and Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts.
Twice as many Leeds Beckett staff - 220 - were entered into the research assessment for 2014 compared to the number entered in 2008. Leeds Beckett entered an increased number of units this year, up from 11% in 2008 to 33% in 2014.
Professor Andrew Slade, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research & Enterprise, said: “Our excellent results are testament to the strategy we adopted at our University to cluster our research activity around very specific areas of strength. We established four research institutes in just four years”.
“I am delighted to see improvements in quality in all areas compared to the previous research assessment in 2008. We also have a number of emerging areas of research with a strong base on which to build, with some really encouraging results in five new units which we entered this time. The results show that we are absolutely committed to having world leading, practical research, which underpins our teaching and delivery of our courses and this in turn provides an inspirational and dynamic environment in which our students can thrive.”