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Research Assessment Exercise RAE. Dr Gary Beauchamp Director of Research School of Education . Accountability of education. National Curriculum (Education Reform Act, 1998); National Strategies for mathematics and English;

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research assessment exercise rae

Research Assessment ExerciseRAE

Dr Gary Beauchamp

Director of Research

School of Education

accountability of education
Accountability of education
  • National Curriculum (Education Reform Act, 1998);
  • National Strategies for mathematics and English;
  • Until recently national tests at age 7,11, 14 and then exams at 16 (GCSE) and 18 [A level];
  • School league tables …
research assessment exercise
Research Assessment Exercise
  • first RAE took place in 1986.
  • for first time it introduced an explicit and formalised assessment process of the quality of research at UK universities and colleges
  • further exercises were held in 1989, 1992, 1996, 2001 and (after revision) 2008.
    • 2001 - 2,598 submissions from 173 HEIs
    • 2008 - 2,344 submissions were made by 159 HEIs
    • Education =4thUoA in numbers of submissions
2001 and 2008
2001 and 2008
  • The RAE 2008 profile is significantly different to that used in 2001.
  • no direct comparisons can be made.
  • Instead of being awarded a one-off overall score in each Unit of Assessment (UoA), as in 2001, each university will be given a graded rating for each Unit of Assessment, outlining what percentage of the research activity in that Unit falls into each quality level.
who is in charge
Who is in charge?
  • The RAE2008 was conducted jointly by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).
  • These funding bodies use the RAE results to determine the amount of money, or grants, they will allocate to each university or college to fund their research from 2009-10.
units of assessment
Units of Assessment
  • The RAE consists of 67 Units of Assessment (UoA) [UoA45: Education];
  • A Unit of Assessment is a subject area in which a university or college can submit research for assessment;
  • A university can enter for as many or as few UoAs as they choose.
who makes assessment
Who makes assessment?
  • A panel of experts assess the quality of research taking place across a number of UoA;
  • Panel members are appointed by the UK funding bodies;
  • There are over 1,000 panel members.
  • chosen for their standing in the academic and wider research community, their extensive research experience, and their understanding of the needs of research users and commissioners of research from both the public and commercial sectors.
  • Panels use their professional judgement to form a view about the overall quality of research activity described in each submission.
what do the panels consider when making their assessment
What do the panels consider when making their assessment?
  • Each assessment panel considers evidence submitted according to a set of criteria, which are common across all Units of Assessment. The criteria include the following:
    • Research active staff
    • Research outputs (usually four research outputs or projects from each staff member)
    • Research students and studentships
    • External research income
    • Research structure and strategies
    • Indicators of esteem
  • outlines the proportion of research in each area that is:
    • ‘world leading’ (4*),
    • ‘internationally excellent’ (3*)
    • ‘internationally recognised’ (2*)
    • ‘nationally recognised’ (1*)
  • Public accountability;
  • a key recruitment tool for staff, PhD students, and increasingly, Masters students;
  • Potential rise or loss in research funding – within and between institutions;
  • Bureaucratic load for institution;
  • Pressure of staff to publish (teaching?);
  • Importance of research?
  • Who should we enter?;
  • How many shall we enter?;
  • What is impact on teaching and learning?
what next
What next?
  • Research Excellence Framework (REF);
  • Assessment will combine quantitative indicators - including bibliometric indicators wherever these are appropriate (yet to be decided) - and expert review;
  • Electronic collection and storage of publications (repositories).