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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Scotland's Universities deliver World Leading Research

Every one of Scotland’s 18 universities delivers the highest quality research in at least one discipline, according to a UK-wide assessment of university research.

Results of the 2021 assessment process through the Research Excellence Framework (REF), were published on Thursday 12 May.

The REF provides a robust and thorough assessment of the quality of universities’ research in all disciplines, providing accountability for public investment in research and demonstrating the benefits of that investment.

Of the research submitted to the REF by Scottish institutions, 85% was judged to be “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. This is an increase on the 77% identified as such at the last REF assessment in 2014, under a slightly different methodology. Across the UK this percentage is 84%.

Kenneth Gibson MSP said:

“Scotland has a long and rich history of inventions, discoveries and innovations that are groundbreaking and have changed the world.

“The SNP Government believes in what Scotland has to offer and investment in education not only helps people from North Ayrshire and Scotland go to university and pursue careers in research and development – it also helps us attract the best and brightest from elsewhere.

“One example of research investment is the £10 million of SNP Government funding recently committed to Precision Medicine research, to look at how treatments for those with diabetes, multiple sclerosis and liver disease, and patients in critical care, can be made more effective and targeted.”

For the first time, the assessment included the submission of all staff with significant responsibility for research, meaning the results provide a unique insight into the quality of research conducted across the breadth of university activity.

Visit the REF website to find the results.


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