Chair of Unis Wales Research Network welcomes Stern Review recommendations

Universities Wales welcomes the recent Stern Review and its recommendations on the future operation of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The Stern review examined how university research funding can be allocated more efficiently so that universities can focus on carrying out the world-leading research that has such a significant effect. Welsh universities have the highest percentage of ‘world leading’ research in terms of its impact across the UK according to the 2014 REF results and are making a difference in areas ranging from saving lives with medical advances for the NHS to driving economic growth through innovative cutting-edge technology.

Chair of the Universities Wales Research Network and member of the Stern Review Advisory Group, Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott said:

“The 2014 REF results were testament to our research excellence, the hard work and commitment of our university staff and universities in Wales. The results were also evidence that public funding for research is a good investment. University research will continue to have a profound impact on Welsh society, economy, public policy, culture, environment and beyond. We therefore support this review of the mechanism used to assess the quality of university research so that we, Welsh Government, our partner universities across the world and the general public, can continue to be assured of the robustness and integrity of assessing research impact and excellence that we have.

Furthermore, we are determined that the result of the recent EU referendum will not change our position as world-leading research partners. Welsh universities will remain a welcoming destination for talented and ambitious people from across the world and the open and internationally engaged culture, along with the life-changing research that we produce within our universities, should continue to make us a partner of choice.”

REF 2014 Key facts:

  • Almost a third of submitted Welsh university research ‘world leading’
  • A further 47% of submitted Welsh university research ‘internationally excellent’
  • Wales’ performance has significantly improved since the last assessment in 2008
  • Across the UK, Welsh universities have the highest percentage of  research whose impact is ‘world leading’
  • Examples of Welsh university research making a big impact on society can be found at