Lord Stern’s Review of the Research Excellence Framework: Response from the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Learned Society of Wales

Download Publication

As the national academies of Scotland and of Wales, the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) welcome the opportunity to submit evidence to Lord Stern’s review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF). This response was prepared using the expertise of a Working Group of Fellows, representing both the RSE and the LSW, from a wide range of institutions and with diverse backgrounds. Both academies span the full range of disciplines covered by the REF.

With the REFs importance to research institutions across the UK, the RSE has maintained a longstanding interest, first engaging in this area in 2009 by responding to the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) consultation on the initial proposals for the Research Excellence Framework.

We are strongly of the view that research and teaching must have equal status and standing within universities. Thus, the RSE supported,with several caveats, the UK Government’s proposals to improve the standard of teaching through a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in a January 2016 response to a consultation by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. In that Advice Paper the RSE stressed that excellence should be the byword in moving forward the agenda of teaching in Higher Education Institutions (HEI), and we reiterate this sentiment in relation to research.

The Advice Paper has been approved by the General Secretary of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the President of the Learned Society of Wales.


Any enquiries about this response should be addressed to Craig Denham, Policy Advice Officer (cdenham@royalsoced.org.uk).
All responses are published on the RSE website (www.royalsoced.org.uk).

Advice Paper (Royal Society of Edinburgh) ISSN 2040-2694