AECC University College Research Judged as Internationally Excellent, as Measured by the Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 has confirmed that overall 82% of AECC University College research outputs, environment and impact was assessed as internationally recognised, with a quarter judged as internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

This was the first submission in the history of the institution to the REF, a system for assessing the quality of research in UK universities and higher education colleges. These submissions are carried out approximately every 6-7 years, and the most recent results were published on 12th May 2022.

Professor David Newell, Director of Research at AECC University College, commented: “Entering the REF for the first time is a key milestone in the development of the institution and we’re proud of the results given our size and the fact we have only had university college status since 2017. Our research helps to move knowledge forward, ultimately to the benefit of our local communities and society at large whilst also informing contemporary evidenced-based education for our students. Research will increasingly play a central role as we continue to develop and grow further as a specialist health sciences university.”

Professor Kevin McGhee, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at AECC University College, said: “By entering our submission into the most recent REF, we have illustrated our focus on research as an institution. This is a significant milestone and going forward, as part of our strategic plan, we want to develop our research base. We will be validating research degree programmes, investing in our research support infrastructure, and recruiting more academic and clinical staff who are research active.”

Professor McGhee continued: “I would like to congratulate everyone who went into our REF submission. A special thank you goes to Professor David Newell and Dr Michelle Holmes for their hard work in putting forward our very first REF submission for the institution.”

The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research. The four UK higher education funding bodies use the REF to inform the allocation of around £2 billion of research funding per year. To make a submission to the REF2021, universities were asked to submit evidence of their research activity, which included:

  • Research outputs publicly available between 2014 and 2020
  • Impact case studies detailing real world benefits driven by the research
  • Evidence of how the research environment has supported the research and its application or impact

For more details on the REF, please visit here


Research at AECC UC