University achieves international research recognition


In a government report on research in universities, the University of Lincoln has achieved international recognition for its research.  The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (the first audit to be conducted of research in UK universities since 2001), has confirmed the academic ambitions of the University of Lincoln as a research-based university.


More than two thirds of the University’s research submitted was recognised as having world-leading elements - the highest ranking possible in the RAE. Subject areas which were particularly successful included: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Computer Science and Informatics, Education, History, Psychology, and Social Work and Social Policy & Administration.


The University submitted in 14 Units of Assessment in almost all of which 50% or more of the research was rated as of international standard.


This result follows a report earlier in the year by the Quality Assurance Agency confirming the high quality of teaching and learning, and National Student Survey scores which put a number of the University’s programmes at the top in UK higher education.


In 2001, the University adopted the name ‘University of Lincoln’ and established the main centre of the University’s activities in Lincoln with the ambition to become a leading research and teaching university.  Just seven years on, the comprehensive external audits of research and teaching activity have now confirmed the dramatic advances of the University of Lincoln, which has overtaken a large number of longer-established UK higher education institutions.


The Vice Chancellor, Professor David Chiddick, who joined the University in 2000, said: “This has been the most important year in the life of this wonderfully ambitious University.  We have been immensely fortunate in attracting to Lincoln some of the world’s best academics who have not only worked with staff so effectively in the University but also engaged with the local community in Lincolnshire.  It is a great tribute to them and to the local community who had the imagination and ambition to establish a new university in the 1990s.”


The University of Lincoln now contributes 13% to the local GDP and an estimated £280 million and 3,000 jobs to the local economy each year and with this latest announcement the economic impact is likely to grow in the coming years.  Professor Mike Saks, Senior Pro Vice Chancellor, who has led the research strategy for the University, commented: “This is an outstanding result which will, with the improvements in all other aspects of the University’s academic activities, work through into national and international league tables.  The University now has a platform of quality and distinction to become a leading national and international university within a decade.” 


Graham Secker, the incoming Chair of Governors of the University added: “The impact of these achievements on the local economy and businesses cannot be under-estimated.  But it also now confirms the University as a potential ‘first choice’ for local, national and international students – an ambition which has been at the heart of the University’s mission since it was established.  The governing body commends the staff and students of this great University for achieving so much in such a short space of time and we very much look forward to taking the University forward in the years to come.”


This Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) will see the distribution of more than £1.5 billion of funding for universities per annum from 2009/10. The funding for English universities comes from Hefce (Higher Education Funding Council for England). The last RAE took place in 2001.


Research is rated as either 4*(world leading), 3*(internationally excellent), 2*(internationally recognised), 1*(nationally recognised) or unclassified.


The allocation of funding based on the RAE results will be announced on 4 March, 2009.