What is the RAE 2001?
The main purpose of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is to enable the higher education funding bodies to distribute public funds for research selectively on the basis of quality. Institutions conducting the best research receive a larger proportion of the available grant so that the infrastructure for the top level of research in the UK is protected and developed. The RAE assesses the quality of research in universities and colleges in the UK. It takes place every four to five years and the next exercise will be held in 2001. Around £5 billion of research funds will be distributed in response to the results of the 2001 RAE.
The RAE provides quality ratings for research across all disciplines. Panels use a standard scale to award a rating for each submission. Ratings range from 1 to 5*, according to how much of the work is judged to reach national or international levels of excellence. Higher education institutions (HEIs) which take part receive grants from one of the four higher education funding bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Outcomes are published and so provide public information on the quality of research in universities and colleges throughout the UK. This information clearly has a much wider value than its immediate purpose. For example, it can be helpful in guiding funding decisions in industry and commerce, charities and other organisations that sponsor research. It also gives an indication of the relative quality and standing of UK academic research. Furthermore, the RAE provides benchmarks which are used by institutions in developing and managing their research strategies. Across the UK as a whole, research quality as measured by the RAE has improved dramatically over the last decade.
Last updated 21 May 2002