Thursday, December 18, 2008

RAE 2008

The results of the UK's Research Assessment Exercise have been released today and can be accessed directly from the RAE 2008 website. The Times Higher has a detailed analysis and commentary and in summary concludes:

while there are no massive changes to the overall research landscape - the biggest research-intensive universities are still clustered at the top of the table of excellence, followed by the smaller research-intensive institutions - there is certainly some significant individual movement

The rankings show league tables for institutions and for individual academic disciplines. Of course the data itself is considerably flawed on a number of counts, not least of which is the strategy adopted by various institutions in terms of the numbers of staff to submit to the exercise. Somewhat ironically, perhaps, the subject with the highest overall score is "economics and econometrics" - apparently the UK is a world-leading expert in statistical measures and economic modelling. Ironic, since the outcome of the RAE metrics is funding allocation to individual institutions.

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