Category: Local practices

Impact of the REF on Early Career Academics

The sector wide emphasis on the REF has led to HEIs adopting recruitment strategies aimed at maximising REF performance in particular units of assessment. At one end of the spectrum, this has created a transfer market among certain academics able to deliver the necessary top-graded outputs. However, at the other end of the spectrum, it…

Quality thresholds and institutional gaming

UCU has serious concerns about the potential for ‘game playing’ by institutions in submitting their REF returns which may bear little relation to the quality of research of individual members of staff.  We are particularly concerned about the detrimental impact this may have on staff, and the way it may distort the assessment process and…

REF selection practices and their detrimental impact on academic careers

The detrimental impact of the REF (and the RAE before it) manifests itself in a number of ways.  In obliging academic staff to adopt research and publication strategies geared towards maximising outputs that meet institutional criteria for REF submission, these exercises have distorted the nature of academic endeavour and damaged academic freedom in UK HEIs. …