Press Releases 2014-2015

UWTSD Celebrates REF Results


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is celebrating its excellent results in the UK-wide Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) published today (18/12/14).

REF 2014

REF aims to promote a dynamic and internationally competitive university sector that makes, through its research, a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

47% of the University’s research work is noted as being world leading or internationally excellent with the remainder of the work submitted noted as being internationally and nationally recognised. This result represents a significant increase on the last research assessment exercise conducted in 2008 where an average of 26.5% of research was judged as being world leading or internationally excellent.

The results reflect the University’s strengths in a number of key research areas with particular strengths in Art and Design and the Humanities.

Two of the University’s submissions were made in collaboration with other Universities, including the submission for Celtic Studies with the University of Wales, Centre for Advanced Celtic Studies; and for Art and Design with Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales under the auspices of the Wales Institute for Research in Art and Design.

"The University’s performance in the world’s most rigorous assessment of research quality is to be welcomed" said Professor Mike Phillips, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Commercialisation. "In particular UWTSD has been ranked joint first within the UK for both the Art and Design and Theology and Religious Studies submissions in relation to the impact of our research".

Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor, added "The published results for the transformed University give a clear indication of the strategic importance of the subject areas for which the University has world leading or international relevance and excellence. It reflects the excellent work carried out by our research groups who have developed collaborative and multi-disciplinary approaches to their studies across the University’s campuses as well as with external organisations. This result provides a sound platform for future development and I am grateful to the staff involved.”

Note to Editor

Research Excellence Framework 2014

The four UK higher education funding bodies allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

Aims of the Research Excellence Framework

To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities’ research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and was last conducted in 2008.

The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the RAE. It assessed the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines. The results will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16.
As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

REF2014 key facts for the UK

  • 154 UK universities took part.
    • They made 1,911 submissions for:
      • 52,077 academic staff
      • 191,232 research outputs
      • 6,975 impact case studies.
    • 36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels
    • around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results


The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and Department for Education, Northern Ireland.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University

The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University

On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476

Full details of our REF2014 results: