An assessment of the research output and impact of the UK’s Higher Education institutions has placed the University of London’s Queen Mary College overall top in the UK for Music, Drama, Dance and Performing Arts, with 69% of its research deemed to be ‘world leading’. The University of Roehampton’s dance research is ranked top for ‘output’ – an assessment based on measures of the “originality, significance and rigour” of its work; and Southampton University, Queen Mary College, Goldsmiths’ (music) and the Royal Northern College of Music shared top honours for the ‘impact’ of their research, based on measures of its “reach and significance”. Among the UK’s specialist drama and music conservatoires, the highest overall profile was that of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, where 39% of its research was categorised as world leading.
The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment is a peer group exercise conducted among UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across all disciplines. The outcome of the 2014 assessment will be used by funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16. It is also used to provide accountability for public investment in research and is valued by HEIs for benchmarking their research quality, which can have a major impact on their reputation.
Professor Gavin Henderson CBE, Principal of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, said: “This assessment across the whole Higher Education sector in the UK is a penetrating peer group exercise. Recognition of the impact of our research in many aspects of the theatrical arts and creative industries is particularly heartening.”