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UK higher education funding bodies’ response to the independent review of the REF

We welcome the findings of Lord Stern’s independent review of the Research Excellence Framework and its recognition of the importance of the REF in assessing the quality of research, providing accountability and benchmarking, and in supporting strategic decision making nationally and in institutions.


The review provides clear principles and direction of travel. We support its finding that a substantial reinvention of the REF would increase uncertainty, workload and burden.

The UK Government and the devolved administrations will now need to consider the report and make their views known on next steps. The UK higher education funding bodies will also carefully consider the recommendations.

Read the Research Excellence Framework review