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REFlections, projections and perplections – what next for REF?

1 May 2015

There have been a few events over the last few weeks to respond to the results, reviews, analysis and implications of REF2014 – naturally with a view to leave us all wondering what will happen next time. In an effort to have a point of coordination of some of these events, here are links to a few of the sites with presentations now published:

HEFCE REFlections event (25th March)

HEPI-Elsevier event (31st March 2015)

Westminster Higher Education Forum (23rd April) – not anticipated to be made public, but there is an internal note of the event for any Cardiff colleagues if you are interested.

A quick summary of issues which keep coming up…

  • Metrics – a report is due in July 2015 on the role and use of metrics and proposals for the future. Generally speaking people are saying they are worth doing, but need to be in context to add any value
  • The ‘Impact template’ offered little to the assessment and will likely to form part of the environment statement, but cases will stay. Such a move would automatically make the cases themselves worth more, though there is still an expectation that the proportion of the impact weighting will increase.
  • Tackling equality and diversity issues was felt to have gone well, with expectations that similar systems become embedded into HEIs as a result.
  • Open Access is clearly an issue still to be fully tackled. REF policy kicks in on 1st April 2016, but “from date of acceptance” is still a grey area from which to ensure papers are added to institutional repositories. There are rumblings that this will change but regardless, how we check compliance of new starters (and provide compliance information to institutions for anyone who leaves us) needs to be addressed to avoid any unexpected trip-ups in the future.

We should expect initial consultation documents for REF in 2015/16 – hopefully in Autumn 2015.



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