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Significant rise in ‘world-leading’ research at ARU

Published: 12 May 2022 at 11:30

ARU Chelmsford campus

National REF 2021 assessment reviews quality and impact of university research

Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) has significantly increased the quality and impact of its research since 2014, and is carrying out “world-leading” research tackling real-world issues affecting people across the world, according to the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, and is carried out every six to seven years. The results were announced by Research England today.

Universities submit their research to REF within categories of ‘units of assessment’. ARU submitted research in 16 units of assessment, tackling real-world issues ranging from improving internet safety for teenagers to changing the lives of people living with dementia; and from developing compassionate resilience in health care workers to addressing the global burden of eye disease. All 16 units of assessment were rated as including some “world-leading” research.

Nine subject areas at ARU were judged to have achieved “world-leading” impact, that is the change or benefit they have made to the wider world. These areas were: Allied Health Professions; Business and Management Studies; Communication, Cultural and Media Studies; Language and Literature; History; Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts; Psychology; Social Work and Social Policy; and Sociology.

The aims of the REF are to inform research funding allocations (approximately £2 billion per year across the sector), and provide accountability for public funding of research, demonstrating its benefits and impact.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“At ARU, we are committed to transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research, and we are delighted that the REF 2021 results confirm that we have significantly increased the quality and impact of our research. 

“These results publicly recognise that our outstanding research and innovation continues to deliver transformative benefits locally, nationally and globally.

“Research carried out by ARU is having a profound effect on people’s lives, focusing on improving the societies we live in, by tackling real-world issues.

“We are incredibly proud of our collaborative and supportive research community.”

More details about the research recognised by the REF can be found at https://aru.ac.uk/ref