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World-leading research at Glyndŵr in REF 2014

More than 90 per cent of Glyndŵr University’s electrical engineering, materials and computer science research assessed in a new survey is of international significance and areas of media research world-leading.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) deemed almost 12% of the institution’s submitted research output in communications, cultural and media studies to be of the highest standard.

Almost all research submitted in electrical and electronic engineering, metallurgy and materials science - above 95% - is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour, as is more than 90% of work submitted in computer science.

Glyndwr's Computing Department chalked up a significant improvement on its success in the last REF, in 2008. Nearly 93% of staff publications in the field were recognised as being of international standard and over 7% being "world leading".

More than 70 per cent of Glyndŵr University’s psychology research is rated internationally significant, with elements of it world-leading.

The REF rates the quality of research at UK universities based on factors including quality of output, impact and sustainability of the work. It was last carried out in 2008.

Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, said: “We are delighted with the results, which show the university is making great strides forward with its research.

“More of our staff submitted research than ever before and the quality of internationally excellent research, the second highest rated, more than doubled in metallurgy and materials science.

“Congratulations to all staff who made such great results possible.”

Real-life impact of research which is being undertaken at UK universities formed a key part of the 2014 REF and Glyndŵr University’s research in all four areas entered was judged to be at least internationally recognised.

Research in engineering and materials science performed strongest, with 80% of work submitted rated internationally excellent for its impact.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Peter Excell said: “These results represent a major advance, in both quality and quantity, on its performance last time.

“Glyndŵr University prides itself in being a spearhead for technology-based industries in North-East Wales and the wider environment and this is reflected in the fact that its submission in the combined area covering Engineering and Materials was its largest ever in terms of staff numbers. We achieved excellent results, with 95% of the research overall of at least international standard.

“The score of 80% in the "internationally excellent" category for its impact statements in these fields was particularly noticeable. This is based on the work which is being done to develop very advanced optical techniques at St Asaph and food chemistry work in Wrexham.

“Psychology and media were both new entrants for us this time and we were delighted to see media placed second in Wales for world-leading research.

“Psychology posted Glyndŵr University’s best score of 12.5% in the "internationally excellent" category for the environment. This reflects the immense and ongoing efforts that have been made by the core staff in the Department to create a vibrant intellectual environment.”

For the 2014 REF, the research of 52,061 academic staff from 154 UK universities was peer-reviewed by a series of panels comprising UK and international experts, and external users of research.

Speaking on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies, Professor Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of HEFCE, said: "The 2014 REF represents an outstanding achievement. Rigorous assessment of high-quality research is at the heart of the REF and the results confirm that UK universities are in the top rank of an internationally competitive research community.

“REF is at the forefront of international efforts to assess the impact of research and provides new incentives to enhance the public benefits derived from research. It clearly demonstrates that UK research – in all disciplines and from a wide range of universities – makes a real difference to people’s lives.”

For more information about the Research Excellence Framework visit

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