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Research Excellence Framework

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

What is the REF?

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the UK’s system for assessing the quality of research in the UK higher education institutions.

The REF is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The shared policy aim for research assessment is to secure the continuation of a world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within UK higher education. More information on the REF process can be found here.

Our results in REF 2021

  • Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research.
  • 88% of its research judged to be within the top two categories of 4* and 3*, defining it as either world-leading, or internationally excellent respectively.
  • 42% of Royal Holloway’s research has been judged as 4*, up from 30% in 2014.
  • Royal Holloway’s 4* research outputs has increased to 43% in 2021, from 27% in 2014.

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