Oxford overtakes Cambridge as Britain’s prime investigation university

Cambridge University has been nudged off its perch as Britain’s top research university, overtaken by its classic rival Oxford and the London powerhouses following a two-yr-prolonged assessment of research quality.

The results of the 2014 Analysis Excellence Framework (Ref), published on Friday, will be pored more than by the 52,000 academics at 154 institutions who took part in the massive public assessment of their investigation output, which determines the division of £2bn of public money in investigation funding annually.

Oxford is set to take the largest share of the block funding, soon after almost half of the analysis created by its 2,400 academic employees was given the top 4-star rating by panels of judges and authorities in every single topic, whilst the output of University College London’s 2,600 workers positioned it over Cambridge’s two,a hundred, in accordance to evaluation of the outcomes by Study Fortnight.

The results suggest that an escalating proportion of research funding is probably to be sucked up by the so-named “Golden Triangle” of Oxford, Cambridge and London universities, in accordance to William Cullerne Bown of Research Fortnight, which analyses greater training funding.

“London appears unstoppable. It has more than a hundred,000 square metres of new research facilities coming online shortly – and that is just the commence. It could now eclipse Oxbridge,” Brown explained.

Between the significant institutions, Imperial College in London continued its latest run of plaudits with the locating that 90% of its research pursuits were world-leading or internationally outstanding, putting it over each Oxford and Cambridge beneath that measure, with the London College of Economics and Cardiff University also in the best 5 for the proportion of analysis they produce which is rated 4- and 3-star.

The Institute of Cancer Research, a professional unit inside of the University of London, came best overall by that measure, with nearly 92% of its research in the four- and 3-star categories that are most likely to entice analysis funding. Just over 87% of the investigation produced by Oxford was provided the best two ratings, but the volume of research implies it will nonetheless appeal to the largest funding of any institution.

Prof Andrew Hamilton, Oxford University’s vice-chancellor, stated he was delighted by the benefits.

“Research is an intensely competitive action and we are hunting at and responding to throughout the world competition in the globe of analysis, the recruitment of leading academics and outstanding students, so there will be no resting on laurels,” Hamilton explained.

Noting the substantial improvement in United kingdom research output general, Hamilton stated that good results ought to be reinforced with much more generous funding of university investigation.

“I quite a lot hope that this will influence these making decisions on investigation funding, that this exceptional overall performance for the sector will be recognised and that the response will be an boost in public investment for the UK’s exceptional research infrastructure,” he stated.

The Ref is the very first of its variety because the final research evaluation exercise in 2008, and exposed a considerable rise in high quality considering that then. Some 22% of the 191,000 pieces of study had been judged to be globe-leading, compared with 14% in 2008, whilst 50% had been identified to be internationally exceptional, compared with 37% previously.

Prof Madeleine Atkins, the chief executive of the Greater Schooling Funding Council for England, explained the outcomes had been “the culmination of the world’s greatest exercise to assess the good quality of research” and assisted make Britain’s universities globe leaders. “Our funding has nearly no strings connected and the Ref supplies accountability for that funding,” she mentioned.

This time twenty% of the ratings awarded in every topic have been primarily based on the influence of personal pieces of investigation – in an attempt to measure reach and effectiveness – and it was in this group that institutions such as Cardiff thrived.

Malcolm Skingle of the pharmaceutical firm GSK, a member of one of the four major panels that assessed the 36 subject regions, explained the effect case studies showed that university investigation had real-planet applications.

“I feel early on the effect agenda frightened the academics because they are frightened by anything that is new,” Skingle mentioned, but eventually they embraced it by “getting out of their ivory towers”.

The Russell Group of analysis universities pointed out that 68% of its 24 members’ output was globe-class.

“The continued strength of the UK’s analysis base and capacity to innovate demands increased investment and a concentration of limited money on main centres of excellence. Our essential global competitors have wisely adopted this policy, pumping billions into their best universities,” explained Wendy Piatt, the Russell Group’s director standard.

But Prof Michael Gunn, vice-chancellor of Staffordshire University and chair of the Million+ thinktank, said: “In the final 5 many years, government priorities and policies have resulted in the funding councils redefining excellence which has led to the hyper-concentration of taxpayer-funded investment in fewer universities.

“Ministers and the funding councils want to provide a more balanced investigation funding formula that invests in all universities and gives the foundations for a broader analysis base that will benefit all components of the nation.”

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