12 May 2022

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 has rated 55 per cent of the University of East London's (UEL) overall institutional submission as 'world-leading' or 'internationally-excellent', with 60 per cent of all research outputs and 54 per cent of all impact cases evaluated at this level.

According to this assessment of research at every UK university, the University's research outputs and impact is really being felt in health, sustainability and social policy, with computer science and engineering identified as areas of particular strength. REF 2021 will decide how around £2 billion in research funding will be allocated each year until the next REF (expected in 2028).

Our impact case studies for REF 2021 reported a huge variety of research projects with economic and societal impact felt globally, from pioneering new practices, developing disruptive technology and influencing international policy. The overall number of academics submitted to REF2021 increased by 61 per cent compared to REF2014.

Every one of the 13 Units of Assessments submitted in REF2021 comprises work that has been evaluated as world-leading. Particular disciplinary strengths include:

  • Computer science: 73 per cent rated world-leading/internationally-excellent overall (80.6 per cent of all research outputs and 100 per cent of all impact cases)
  • Allied health: 72 per cent rated world-leading/internationally-excellent overall (71 per cent of all research outputs and 67 per cent of all impact cases)
  • Social work & social policy: 76 per cent rated world-leading/internationally-excellent overall (83.3 per cent research outputs and 50 per cent impact)

Professor Amanda J. Broderick, vice-chancellor & president at UEL, said: "These results highlight the outstanding quality of research outputs and impact carried at the University of East London.

"Our outcome also reflects our commitment towards addressing major global challenges aligned with the United Nation's development goals. We're pioneering solutions to help create sustainable cities and communities, reduce inequalities, and transform health and well-being sustainably.

"As society changes, the most vulnerable are often the ones most at risk of being left behind or exposed to increased challenges later in life. Our research community seeks to solve this. For example, our research is making changes to the early years' childcare and nursery sector, is exploring questions that have never been asked before, like 'what impact does city life have on kids and their learning needs?', and we are helping to protect children across the world from online harm."

"I would like to thank all colleagues involved for being the positive change in our society and their hard work over the last REF period and beyond."

Professor Hassan Abdalla, Provost at UEL, added: "It is pleasing to see that our commitment to disruptive technology is having an impact, having seen huge growth in areas such as Computer Science, with a 205% increase in FTE, an area where 80 per cent of our outputs were considered 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent', with the rest classed as 'internationally recognised', with the impact of our research being felt across the globe.

"The University's strategic institutional research priorities and development for the next cycle of REF are already underway and will focus on areas that underpin our academic portfolio and alignment with Vision 2028 goals."

Read more about UEL's REF 2021 impact case studies and outputs here.

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