Research rankings reaffirm Edinburgh’s place as global leader

The University of Edinburgh’s position as one of Britain’s leading research universities – and Scotland’s top-ranked research institution – has been reaffirmed by the results of the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The results reveal that 83 per cent of the University’s research activity is in the highest categories – 4* and 3*– which are classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Based on the quality and breadth of its research, Edinburgh has been rated fourth in the UK and by far the most successful university in Scotland. Its submission was one of the largest and most comprehensive in the UK.

Each of the University’s three Colleges has at least one research area ranked top in the UK.

The School of Biological Sciences has done extremely well, with more than half of the research assessed as ‘world leading’ (4*).

After factoring in the number of staff submitted (112 in UoA5) this places SBS 3rd in the UK (above Oxford and Cambridge). In addition all of the Schools in the the College of Science and Engineering are ranked in the top 5 in the UK.

Edinburgh is also one of a select group of British universities to achieve outstanding results when demonstrating the impact of its research on wider society. More than half of its research in this category has been classed as 'world leading'.

The outcomes reinforce Edinburgh’s position as one of the world’s top universities, building on recent strong showings in the Times Higher Education, QS and Shanghai global rankings.

A total of 1,852 individuals – 83 per cent of the institution’s academic workforce – had their research assessed across 31 disciplines, with more than two thirds of those in top five-rated subject areas.

The results also indicate that the University is home to more than 35 per cent of Scotland’s 4* research.

Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, described the results as “an exceptionally strong performance across the whole of the University’s research activity”.

The Principal also praised the University’s strong performance in six joint REF submissions. Reflecting on the results, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, said:

“Research at the University of Edinburgh is constantly expanding the depth of human knowledge and making an impact on the wider world – whether it be improving the effectiveness of youth justice policy and practice, or shaping the technologies used to manage the world’s data.  

Our outstanding researchers enable us to forge links with charities, businesses, policy makers and other universities, so that together we can tackle long-standing challenges at home and overseas.”


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