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A researcher in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

18 Dec 2014

Large increase in research judged to be ‘world-leading’ at Loughborough University

Two-thirds of Loughborough academics deliver internationally leading research – 17th highest proportion in the sector, out of 154 universities

Loughborough’s inclusive approach confirms research embedded in all we do

Data released today (Thursday 18 December 2014) as part of the national Research Excellence Framework (REF) reveals that Loughborough University has consolidated its position in the premier league of research universities.

The results show that 65.5% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, and is therefore eligible to receive research funding. This compares to a national average figure of 43%.

Loughborough demonstrated its pre-eminence in sport and is again home to the country’s largest concentration of world-leading research in this area. In total seven subject areas, covering 60% of Loughborough staff, feature in their national subject top ten on this measure.

The following table indicates the proportion of staff that were judged ‘world-leading’ (4*-rated) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*-rated) as a proportion of staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF.

% of eligible staff whose work was judged 3* or 4*

Rank

University

%

1

Imperial College London

83.28%

2

University of Cambridge

82.96%

3

University of Bristol

76.11%

4

University of Oxford

75.70%

5

University of Southampton

75.64%

6

University College London

74.99%

7

London School of Economics and Political Science

73.96%

8

Queen's University Belfast

72.50%

9

University of Warwick

72.24%

10

University of Edinburgh

68.71%

11

University of Glasgow

67.95%

12

King's College London

67.88%

13

University of St Andrews

67.81%

14

University of Exeter

66.69%

15

University of Strathclyde

66.41%

16

University of Birmingham

65.71%

17

LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY

65.47%

18

University of Durham

65.47%

19

University of Reading

64.93%

20

University of Manchester

64.40%

21

University of Bath

64.19%

22

Lancaster University

63.53%

23

University of Sheffield

63.49%

24

University of Nottingham

63.35%

25

Queen Mary University of London

63.31%

26

University of Essex

63.22%

27

Newcastle University

63.03%

28

Royal Holloway, University of London

62.57%

29

University of Kent

62.53%

30

University of York

62.16%

The very high submission rate at Loughborough (88% of eligible staff were returned) was one of the highest in the sector and provides assurance to students that they will enjoy the benefits of being taught in a world-class research environment.

Overall the proportion of Loughborough’s research judged to be ‘world leading’ (4*) increased by 37% and that considered ‘internationally excellent’ increased by 23%.

Vice Chancellor, Robert Allison said: “The combination of a significant increase in the proportion of our research deemed world leading, and high, inclusive submission rate, evidences our claim to be one the UK’s premier research universities where students can be assured that their courses involve staff at the cutting edge of their intellectual disciplines.”

Notes for editors

Article reference number: 14/218

The Research Excellence Framework is the system through which the quality of research in all subject areas in UK higher education institutions is assessed. It is undertaken approximately every six years by the four UK higher education funding bodies.

Loughborough features in the top 10 for seven subject areas where volume and quality profile are taken into account. This is an important measure because it indicates critical mass – important for high quality scholarship. These areas are:

  • Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering,
  • Civil and Construction Engineering
  • Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
  • Area Studies
  • Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management

The table shown only includes universities.

The table has been created by expressing the FTE staff results at 3* and 4* from the REF as a percentage of the total FTE staff who were eligible to be submitted (using HESA data released 18.12.14). This is the research that HEFCE funds.

About Loughborough University

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

Contact for all media enquiries

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk