St Mary’s University, Twickenham has received a ringing endorsement from the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) for its academic research in a number of departments. REF is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).
Among the seven Units of Assessment submitted to the REF, the English and Communications Units were rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in 61% and 60% of their respective ‘Output’ submissions. Other successes include Sport and History in which 50% of the Output submissions were either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor, St Mary’s University said, “This is a great result for our University. Overall it demonstrates St Mary’s commitment to providing students with an excellent academic environment which focuses on teaching, informed by quality research. St Mary’s has ambitious plans for growth and the REF submission is part of our strategy to widen our research interests with more research active staff involved in a broader range of activities.
“The submission to the REF, combined with the strength of our case studies, reflects our confidence in what we are achieving academically and reflects our ambitions for the future. We are committed to building and investing in our people and research base which is vital to sustainable growth at St Mary’s as we continue to nurture a vibrant research community.”
For REF2014, St Mary’s University made a strategic decision to increase its entry to seven Units of Assessment, almost double the amount entered in the RAE in 2008. The University also encouraged more Early Career Researchers to submit entries to give opportunities for development. The submission included 14 case studies of significant research projects within Units of Assessment including sport, communications and theology engaging with partners such as the Bishops’ Conference, leading athletes and the Irish Film Institute.
Among the submissions, St Mary’s impact case studies demonstrate close links with the local community and show engagement in applied research with industry and national organisations. For example, in St Mary’s School of Sport, Health and Applied Science, work with elite athletes on injury is applied through the work of the University’s Centre for Health, Applied Sport and Exercise Science (CHASES) to benefit the local community. Furthermore, rugby coaches are being trained in local schools and at youth level to identify indicators of concussion which has been informed directly from the research undertaken at St Mary’s.