Dim ond yng Nghaerdydd

REF 2014 – A Student Perspective

Merry Christmas Insiders!

I hope you’re all having a lovely break 🙂 I’m at home for Christmas on my first long break from work – I got back on the 20th and I’m here until the 3rd – yay! Only sucky thing about working is you don’t get as much free time as you do when your a student so 2 weeks off has been heavenly!

It feels like a long time ago now but this month you might have seen some stuff in the news about  something call the REF – short for Research Excellence Framework. To make a long story very short, REF judges the quality of the research being provided by each university, and each subject area within the university, and then ranks these based on a number of different focus points.

REF only happens once every 6 years, which is why it’s kind of  a big deal. As an undergrad you aren’t necessarily as aware of things to do with research since you aren’t always directly involved in it which is where working in the university came in handy, on results day it was hard not to be excited!

We were sent an email at midnight on the 18th (when the embargo was lifted on results) from the Vice-Chancellor detailing our results and how proud we were of them, because we did really really well!

For the first time we have managed to jump up the tables and break into the ‘Golden Triangle’ which is made up by Oxford, Cambridge and the top London universities. For the quality of our research we came 5th in the UK which is incredible -especially considering we were in the 20s the last time we were assessed in 2008.

Our research also came 2nd for ‘Impact of Research’, which is to do with how research has helped society or the community. N.B. for the Maths kids – we have a healthcare modelling centre that works with the NHS and recently they have contributed to there being a 60% reduction in the mortality rate of stroke patients – read more here if you are interested! So that’s the kind of thing that would be important in that category 🙂

Civil Engineering came first in the entire country for their research and five sections came first in impact of research which is amazing! Six others are in the top 5 of their respective fields for quality of research. All in all a very successful REF for Cardiff 🙂

But why does it matter to us? 

It’s all well and good getting a good score, but what does it actually mean for the University? REF has a large weighting on the amount a department or university as a whole will be funded, both by the government and research council etc – if you show that you are delivering successful research then you show that your research is worth investing more money into. Hopefully this will mean that we are able to access more funding and create more fantastic research. Good news all round! It may also have an impact on our UK and World rankings in the coming years.

If you’d like to read a bit more about it then have a lookie here. 

It’s nearly 2015 now, and I’ll be blogging again in a few days with some 2015 resolutions that I’ll be sharing with you all!

 

Now go, watch some more rubbish Christmas telly and veg out on your sofa. 🙂

 

 

Nina

 

 

 

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