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Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)

Recognition for Cardiff’s world-leading research … (continued)

Changes in Assessment methods (See How does this compare? below) mean that results are not immediately comparable with those of last time but it is already clear that the merger between the University and the Wales College of Medicine is producing many research benefits.  Most notable in this Assessment is the profile of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology where an outstanding 20 per cent of research is world-leading (grade 4*) and 80 per cent is world-leading and internationally excellent (4* and 3*).

The professions also feature strongly among other areas of the University shown in the Assessment to be conducting high concentrations of world-leading research.  Among the most impressive of these are Civil Engineering (25% world leading, 90% world-leading/internationally excellent) and the schools of Business (35% and 70% respectively), Journalism, Media and Communication (45% and 75%), City and Regional Planning (30% and 65%) and Law (25% and 60%).

Other schools which feature very strongly in the Assessment include: Computer Science; Earth and Ocean Sciences; Music; and Psychology — all recording combined 4* 3* ratings of 70%.

How does this compare?

For the first time the Assessment produces a quality graded profile (on a scale 4*-0 ) for each unit of assessment (UOA) rather than the previous method of producing a single point score (5*-1).  This methodology was chosen as it provides a more comprehensive analysis of quality than the 2001 RAE, where only one rating was allocated to each UoA. However, in order to compare one institution with another, league table compilers will apply a calculation to convert each institution's profile to a single figure. Most of the calculations that are likely to be used are subjective in nature as they involve assigning a weighting to each grade, effectively indicating that research ranked at one grade is a certain degree more important than research at another grade.

Cardiff was ranked 7th by graded average in 2001 and the University of Wales College of Medicine 48th by the same measure.  Combined and ranked on that basis we would have been c22nd. Based on Research Power we are ranked 15th this time - reflecting the new enlarged university and the consolidation that has taken place. The Assessment has therefore, once again, highlighted the world-leading research being undertaken at the University.