Rankings reveal top universities for education research

18th December 2014 at 00:02


The University of Oxford is the top-rated university for education research in the UK, according to the latest assessment, published today.

Overall, 65 per cent of the research in education at Oxford was rated as "world-leading" and given the top rating of 4*. A further 27 per cent was rated as 3* or "internationally excellent".

The quality of research in education was reviewed as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF); a large-scale exercise that assesses research at universities across the UK in different subjects. Some 76 universities had the quality of their education research reviewed.

The University of Nottingham came after Oxford in the rankings, with 55 per cent of its education research rated as 4*.

King’s College London and the University of Cambridge came next, both with 54 per cent of their education research being given the top rating. The University of Durham took the next spot, with 50 per cent.

The Institute of Education (IoE), which recently merged with University College London, had 48 per cent of its research activity rated at 4*. But the institution submitted by far the highest number of researchers to the exercise – 250 (or equivalent to 219 full-time staff).

Professor Chris Husbands, director of the IoE, said: “The REF assessments confirm that we are a research powerhouse in education and related areas of social science, with a critical mass of really excellent researchers.”

An analysis of the data across all subjects found that Oxford remained top in terms of research, followed by University College London, pushing Cambridge into third place.

In total, the research of more than 52,000 academic staff at 154 institutions was peer reviewed by a series of expert panels.

The work was graded from 4* (world-leading) to 1* (recognised nationally) and will be used to allocate around £2 billion a year to universities from 2015-16.



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