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Anglia Ruskin research recognised for its great impact

Published: 18 December 2014 at 10:26

REF 2014 highlights 12 areas that are generating ‘world-leading’ research

Anglia Ruskin University’s academic excellence has been recognised by the UK’s Higher Education funding bodies, with 12 areas classed as generating “world-leading” research.

Involving over 52,000 academics from 154 UK universities, the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 released today show that Anglia Ruskin is making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe. 

REF 2014 is the biggest research assessment exercise in the world and the results are used to allocate around £2 billion of research funding every year.

Amongst the Anglia Ruskin research singled out for praise is a study conducted by Professor Helen Odell-Miller to help people with dementia, mental health issues and autistic children through the use of music therapy.

Anglia Ruskin’s Vision and Eye Research Unit (VERU) was recognised for its work to improve eye and healthcare for diabetic patients of South Asian origin, while VERU’s Professor Rupert Bourne has been leading the most comprehensive study ever undertaken into the prevalence of global blindness.  The findings have directly impacted on healthcare policymakers and professionals, charities and economic analysts around the world.

World-leading research from Anglia Ruskin’s Life Sciences department includes providing government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a “toolkit” for measuring the financial value of natural spaces, and carrying out Britain’s first online recording project to study the effects of the invasive harlequin ladybird.  This has informed conservation policy and helped to promote citizen science.

Research by Anglia Ruskin’s Global Sustainability Institute on the interaction between the financial sector and climate change has directly influenced the investment of the £2.9 billion International Climate Fund set up by the UK Government; the Little Rock Accord with the Club de Madrid group of former world leaders; credit rating analysis of energy and water utilities by Standard & Poor’s; and a new Board in the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Work by Lord Ashcroft International Business School academics to internationalise small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is also highlighted.  The CURA-B project focuses on encouraging export activity amongst SMEs in the East of England, West Flanders, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Zeeland, while the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) has been fostering entrepreneurship in Romania and South Africa, as well as the UK.

The 12 subject areas within Anglia Ruskin classified by REF 2014 as producing world-leading research are:

-          Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy

-          Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

-          Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

-          Business and Management Studies

-          Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

-          English Language and Literature

-          Geography, Environmental Studies and Archaeology

-          History

-          Law

-          Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts

-          Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

-          Social Work and Social Policy

Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne said:

“Anglia Ruskin excels at research that delivers impact that reaches beyond the academic world and makes a real difference to all of our lives.
“We’re delighted that the excellent REF 2014 results come so soon after our research, innovative teaching and business development activity led to us being named the Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2014 at the recent Times Higher Education Awards.
“We’ve increased the range, quality and scale of our research submission since the last research exercise was carried out in 2008, and are already on the way to further improvements for the next REF exercise.  It is particularly pleasing that REF 2014 shows that world-leading research is being undertaken in all five faculties at Anglia Ruskin.”