UCL News


UCL tops list of universities most engaged with UK policy

10 November 2020

An independent study has revealed UCL is the most frequently seen university in the UK public policy landscape.


UCL is the most active university in regard to academic engagement with policy, according to policy impact tracking website Overton, which analysed the number of citations in policy documents collected from government, intergovernmental organisations and think tanks worldwide, as well as mentions of UK academics in government sources.   

Russell Group universities dominated the list - UCL ranks first, with 5.4% of the total number of citations and mentions included in the study, followed by the University of Oxford (5.0%), Kings College London (4.8%), University of Cambridge (3.9%) and Imperial College London (3.4%).

The study findings come just months after UCL announced its £3.9m Research England project Capabilities in Academic Policy Engagement (CAPE), in partnership with the Universities of Cambridge, Manchester, Northumbria and Nottingham and in collaboration with the Government Office for Science, the Parliamentary Office for Science & Technology, the Alliance for Useful Evidence, and the Transforming Evidence Hub. The project aims to support effective and sustained engagement between academics and policy professionals across the higher education sector and reveal the hidden stories that lay behind these concentrations.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research) said “UCL’s position in this area is a testament to the efforts of all our staff working to make our research more accessible for policymakers. It is vital that we collaborate with others across the UK to ensure greater diversity in the levels of engagement across all regions. There is great potential both for universities to work with those in their local area whilst also widening the contribution of academic expertise through greater collaboration across regions. This will be crucial to improving the way in which individual institutions and the sector as a whole can enhance engagement at all levels of the public policy sphere. Together, we can and must be more than the sum of our parts.”