Oxford Road Corridor partners recognised for world-class research strength

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan both score highly in the UK government’s Research Excellence Framework.

These results show the value that UK universities deliver regionally, nationally and globally, producing groundbreaking research that drives prosperity, enriches communities and changes lives. 

Professor Malcolm Press CBE

Both Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester have enjoyed huge success in the UK government’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, the major national exercise to evaluate research activity, which was last held in 2014. Research underpins innovation and these results from two of our leading partners cement the Oxford Road Corridor’s status as one of Europe’s leading innovation districts.  

Manchester Met doubled the proportion of research that is rated ‘world-leading’ and is now identified as one of the very best universities in the UK for research power in its key strength areas such as Art and Design, Sport, English and Education.

The University of Manchester made one of the largest and broadest submissions to the REF and retained an impressive 5th place in the UK for research power. Ranking in the top three nationally for Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, Business Studies, Chemistry, Classics, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies, Development Studies, Engineering, Physics and Sociology.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said: “These comprehensive and independent results confirm Manchester’s place as a global powerhouse of research.

“We create an environment where researchers can thrive and exchange ideas. Most importantly, the quality and impact of our research is down to the incredible dedication and creativity of our colleagues who work every day to solve significant world problems, enrich our society and train the next generation of researchers.

“The fact that our REF results are accompanied by examples of the real difference we’ve made in the world, all driven from this city makes me very proud.”

Manchester Met Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press CBE said: “These results show the value that UK universities deliver regionally, nationally and globally, producing groundbreaking research that drives prosperity, enriches communities and changes lives.  

“I am obviously extremely pleased that the quality and impact of Manchester Met’s research has been recognised. We not only doubled the size of our REF submission, but most importantly doubled the proportion of it recognised as world-leading for originality, significance and rigour. 

“Producing impactful research that tackles some of the greatest challenges the world is facing is a key element of our University’s new strategy to 2030. The REF results show we can be confident in our aspirations for the future and set no limit on our ambitions.” 

The REF is the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in UK higher education providers (HEPs). It is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE). 

Examples of the type of research undertaken and its wider societal impact:

Manchester Metropolitan recognised for world-class research strength · Manchester Metropolitan University (mmu.ac.uk)


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