RAE 2008

Research assessment

Medicine, Architecture and the Built Environment, Laws, Economics and Philosophy are among the academic disciplines at UCL to have achieved outstanding results in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, with UCL’s total number of full-time equivalent staff rated of world-leading quality third overall after Oxford and Cambridge.

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is a periodic exercise conducted nationally to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research by the four UK higher education funding bodies.

The Research Selectivity Exercise, as it was originally known, took place for the first time in 1986 and was repeated in 1989. The process was renamed the Research Assessment Exercise for the third exercise in 1992. Further exercises took place in 1996, 2001 and 2008.

Research excellence

The RAE provides quality ratings for research across all disciplines – ratings which are calculated by peer-assessment panels, according to how much of the work submitted for assessment is judged to reach national or international levels of excellence.

The outcomes of the RAE are crucially important to UCL in providing funding to maintain its internationally excellent research activity: the ratings awarded in RAE determine the levels of quality-research (QR) funding allocated annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to universities throughout the period between exercises.

RAE 2008

In the vast majority of UCL’s submissions, at least 50% of the staff submitted were ranked at either the highest grade of 4* (‘of world-leading quality’), or 3* (‘internationally excellent’). Highlights included:

  • Architecture and the Built Environment: 75% rated 3* or 4*
  • Chemical Engineering: 75% rated 3* or 4*
  • Cancer Studies: 75% rated 3* or 4*
  • Computer Science and Informatics: 80% rated 3* or 4*
  • Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences: 80% rated 3* or 4*
  • Economics and Econometrics: 95% rated 3* or 4*, with 55% at 4*
  • History: 40% rated 4* (the highest awarded by the History panel, with only Cambridge and Imperial (a very small dept) also being given the same percentage)
  • History of Art, Architecture and Design: 80% rated 3* or 4*
  • Hospital-Based Clinical Subjects (including the Division of Medicine, Ear Institute, Institute of Ophthalmology, Institute of Child Health, Institute for Women's Health): 70% rated 3* or 4*
  • Infection and Immunology: 80% rated 3* or 4*
  • Law: 75% rated 3* or 4*
  • Philosophy: 75% rated 3* or 4*, with 45% rated 4*
  • Psychology: 75% rated 3* or 4*.

UCL EPrints provides records of all the submitted publications.


Page last modified on 13 oct 10 11:28