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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-05092

University of Edinburgh’s Recent Success in the Research Excellence Framework Rankings

Submitted by: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Monday, June 27, 2022

Supported by: Karen Adam, Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Foysol Choudhury, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Pam Gosal, Bill Kidd, Michael Marra, Liam McArthur, Audrey Nicoll, Paul O'Kane, Paul Sweeney, Sue Webber

That the Parliament congratulates the University of Edinburgh on retaining its status as Scotland’s top-ranked higher education research institution, according to Times Higher Education (THE) analysis of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF); recognises that the University of Edinburgh remains forth in the same rankings across the UK, with nearly 90% of the university’s research activity in the highest categories, 4 star and 3 star, which are classified respectively as "world leading" and "internationally excellent", a growth of 10% since the previous REF in 2014; understands that the university’s results were informed by more than 180 examples of how its research and data-driven approach have made a global difference in helping societies to become more sustainable, more healthy and equitable; further understands that REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, the results of which determine the allocation of public funding for research; notes that three quarters of the research areas in which the University of Edinburgh was assessed, 21 disciplines out of 28, were judged to be in the top five in the UK, according to THE; understands that five subject areas, computer science, informatics, sociology, anthropology and developmental studies, are now ranked in the same metric as the best in the UK; appreciates what it sees as the positive and pivotal role that the University of Edinburgh holds in the city, and across Scotland, as an economic driver, and commends the university’s research community on what it sees as this world-leading achievement.