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Higher Education: Research

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 114889, tabled on 31 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made on the impact of the Research Excellence Framework on academic freedom.

Answered on

8 February 2022

Research England, working with the HE Education Funding Bodies in the Devolved Nations, is conducting an extensive evaluation of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, including a recent call for feedback from Higher Education Providers and individuals involved in the research system. This evidence with inform the design of the next national research evaluation.

A key principle of the current Research Excellence Framework (REF) is that all types of research and all forms of research output across all disciplines is assessed on a fair and equal basis. The REF aims to assess all types of research without distorting the activity that it measures, or encouraging or discouraging any particular type of research activity, other than providing a general stimulus to enhancing the overall achievements of the UK research base.