Society Welcomes REF2021 Outcome for Wales

Wales’ universities are playing a vital role in tackling the many challenges we face today and will face in the future. 

That is the conclusion from today’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 [REF2021] results. REF2021 is the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in UK higher education institutions. It is used to inform the annual allocation of around £90m of public funding for university research in Wales, and £2 billion per year across the UK. 

“Celebrating research from Wales is central to what the Learned Society of Wales does,” said Professor Hywel Thomas, the Society’s President. “That is why we welcome REF2021’s recognition of the strength, success and public value of the research from Wales’ universities

“The judgement that 83% of Wales’ research is world-leading or internationally excellent is impressive. 

“The fact that 89% of this research has an impact that is world-leading or internationally excellent is a cause for celebration. These results build on REF2014 and paint a picture of progress. Research from Wales takes place in a supportive environment. It is outward-looking. It is changing the lives of people in Wales, the UK and globally. 

“Our Fellows contribute much to this research. They come from all subject areas and disciplines. We are pleased, therefore, that REF2021 recognises how Wales’ research excels across institutions and across STEMM, the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.” 

The Society will continue to promote Wales’ research and researchers, not least through its annual medals and research round-ups, while its Early Career Research Network will continue to support researchers as their careers develop and progress. 

We will also engage with the results, as we did with REF2014. We will offer further analysis and interpretation in the months to come, to learn any lessons and support a journey of continuing improvement.