UWE’s world-leading research recognised in major new report

December 19, 2014

The amount of world-leading research carried out at UWE Bristol has soared by 170%, according to a major new national report.

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) show that 57 % of the research submitted by UWE was judged to be either world-leading or internationally excellent. In addition, 75% of the research submitted was highly rated for impact.

UWE’s strengths in the areas of allied health and nursing, and communications, cultural and media studies were highlighted in the report. Among the case studies highlighted was world-class research carried out into innovative digital applications by UWE’s Pervasive Media Studio at Watershed.

This work is positioning Bristol as one of the world’s first centres to harness digital to transform all aspects of city life.

For the first time, the impact quality accounted for 20% of the overall profile – the main outcome of the REF. Impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia.

The 2014 REF provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines through peer review of the research of 52,061 academic staff from 154 UK universities.

UWE vice-chancellor Steve West said: “UWE Bristol did particularly well on the new quality of impact measure. This recognises that our research has resulted in real benefits to the economy and society as well as increasing academic knowledge.

“UWE’s outstanding REF results reflect our mission of undertaking excellent research applicable to real world problems.”

Results were also outstanding in areas such as architecture, built environment and planning; history; engineering; art and design; computer science; agriculture, food and veterinary, and business and management.

The REF assessed the quality and impact of research in Higher Education in the UK. The results are used by funding bodies such as HEFCE to inform funding to HEIs from 2015-16, which will be announced in March 2015. The previous exercise, the Research Assessment Exercise, was carried out in 2008.

In order to assess the new measure of research impact, universities submitted nearly 7,000 case studies to HEFCE.

UWE’s research on pervasive media: building a new digital world has enabled developers of new media and games to create innovative products.

Another of UWE’s case studies - improving mobility and reducing pain in people with osteoarthritis – outlines a method developed at UWE that enables people with osteoarthritis to regain their ability to move and reduce their pain. This has been adopted and implemented across the UK.

Another case study, tackling negative body image, describes the initiatives to tackle this global health issue that have been directly influenced by research at UWE.

Research at UWE has led to major initiatives to tackle overfishing, including the establishment of the world’s largest marine reserve.

Prof West continued:  “We are proud of the way in which our excellent research feeds into teaching our students. It means our students benefit from the latest thinking and how that is shaping the world now and in the future.”


Comments are closed.


Reach tens of thousands of senior business people across Bristol for just £120 a month. Email info@bristol-business.net for more information.