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University of Suffolk in Ipswich recognised by Research Excellence Framework for impact of 'internationally excellent' research



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Officials at the University of Suffolk have expressed their 'delight' at being recognised on an international level for their research capabilities.

It comes as the Ipswich university received what it described as an 'outstanding' outcome following its first submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2021.

The results, which were published today, indicate that the establishment produces 'world-leading and internationally excellent research', as measured by the latest REF assessment.

Officials at the University of Suffolk have expressed their 'delight' at being recognised on an international level for their research capabilities. Picture by Mark Westley
Officials at the University of Suffolk have expressed their 'delight' at being recognised on an international level for their research capabilities. Picture by Mark Westley

The REF evaluates both the quality and impact of research at UK universities, and its assessment of the University of Suffolk's submission in Social Work and Social Policy found that 12 per cent of its research outputs were rated as 4* quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Meanwhile, 56 per cent were rated as 3* which are of a quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour.

Overall, the university's research impact was rated as 3* as having considerable impact in terms of both reach and significance.

University of Suffolk Waterfront Building. Picture by Mark Westley
University of Suffolk Waterfront Building. Picture by Mark Westley

Professor Helen Langton, vice-chancellor of the University of Suffolk, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of REF 2021.

"These excellent results evidence the University’s efforts to deliver on its vision of transforming lives locally, nationally and globally and the impact of our research is vital to our success in meeting that goal.

"Our rapidly growing trajectory of attracting research funding and our developing reputation for outstanding research in line with our research specialisms are reflected in these results which provide significant assurance of our future position as an internationally recognised, high quality research institution."

Prof Langton said she and the university's board wanted to personally thank all colleagues involved for the 'significant' achievement.

"The impact of our research is clear, benefiting society and the communities we serve with almost 70 per cent of our submissions achieving a rating of world-leading and international excellence," she added.

The University of Suffolk, which gained independence as a university in 2016, is now looking to its 'ambitious' plans to further develop its research agenda and culture in the next five years.

A spokeswoman said, since the 2021 submission, it has invested more than £1 million to transform its research environment and infrastructure to lay the foundations for a significant submission into the next REF exercise.

"The University has already achieved impressive research distinctions and impact in Social Work and Social Policy; Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care; Earth Sciences; Computer Sciences; and Sport and Exercise sciences," she added.