London Higher celebrates London’s research successes

London Higher is calling for Government to put London’s world-leading research and development (R&D) sector at the heart of the national drive to become a science superpower, following the clutch of top-class results for the capital in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) results published today.

The REF, a comprehensive analysis undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE), assesses the quality of research from institutions and uses this to inform the distribution of research funding.

Occupying 11 of the top 25 performing overall ‘units of assessment’ by percentage of 4* submissions, London’s universities consistently score highly for both impact and output across a variety of disciplines, sending a clear signal to government that the city’s breath of research prowess is the driving force behind UK science.

Commenting on the REF results Dr Diana Beech, Chief Executive of London Higher said:

“Today’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) results represent a landmark moment for London, with several of the capital’s universities and research institutes achieving the highest impact for their research across a broad range of disciplines.

Imperial College London leads the way with a greater proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university, while other institutions in London including the LSE, Queen Mary University of London and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama have demonstrated impressive research strengths in the Arts and Humanities, confirming their importance to public life.

Yet the success of London research must not be taken for granted. Continued investment in London’s R&D base is essential to advance UK innovation and boost the nation’s global competitiveness while bringing benefits right across the regions.”

Other significant results for capital include:

  • Eight of the top 20 institutions in Arts and Humanities research are London Higher members, including Royal Holloway, Birkbeck and the University of Westminster.
  • London’s small specialist providers proved themselves worthy of their world-leading credentials, with The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD) performing highly for Arts and Humanities research and The Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) receiving the highest score of any UK higher education institution for research in biological sciences.
  • Another notable success story comes from Brunel University London, which had 100% of its research impact recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent in four areas of study