The REF2021 panel overview reports have now been published, which provide a more detailed and reflective overview of the research performance in each area.
MeCCSA has published a press release in response to these overview reports. In this we welcome the results as demonstrating the extremely high quality and social importance of research by our members and others in the area, as evidenced across a number of sub-panels. We also put this in context of our previous statement this week in response to reductions in funding for arts, humanities, and social sciences generally.
We would like to draw your attention to five sub-panels where the work of our members has been prominently represented, either as the main panel focus or via cross-referral / joint assessment. Some work by members may also have been submitted to or assessed by other sub-panels of course.
Panel D Overview Report: https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1855/mp-d-overview-report-final.pdf
- Subpanel 34: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management (page 207 onwards)
- Subpanel 33: Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies (page 179 onwards)
- Subpanel 32: Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice (page 155 onwards)
- Subpanel 27: English Language and Literature (page 86 onwards)
Panel C Overview Report: https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1857/mp-c-overview-report-final.pdf
- Sub-panel 23: Education (page 157 onwards) – makes special mention of cross-over with UOA34 in particular.
In addition to these, we have been asked by the Chair and Deputy Chair of both UOA33 and 34 to circulate to MeCCSA members the overview reports from their panels.
UOA33 Statement from panel chairs
The release of the REF 2021 results has been followed this week by the publication of the overview reports for Main Panel D and Sub-panel 33. These offer a substantial evidence base demonstrating the centrality of creative arts subjects for HEIs, their local communities, and their national and international reputations.
The overview report for Sub-panel 33 summarises as follows (para 112):
‘The outcomes for REF 2021 demonstrate that the quality of HEI research in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies is higher than ever, laying claim to be amongst the best in the world. This excellence is by no means a purely academic achievement; accordingly, it cannot be adequately valued solely with regard to the balance sheets of individual HEIs. The research and impact assessed by the sub-panel, often realised through diverse collaborations with national and international partners, forms a crucial element of the UK creative industries sector, seeding industry activity across the devolved administrations and providing the backbone for local, national and international cultural infrastructures. This research is shaping the response of the creative industries to contemporary challenges, upskilling the workforce, and creating opportunity for audiences and artists. It is a key driver of cultural regeneration and the boosting of regional economies in areas targeted by the ‘levelling up’ agenda, fostering a wider civic vitality that benefits all who live, work and study in these regions. It enables close engagement with diverse local communities, and thereby supports HEIs in satisfying their corporate responsibility commitments. It contributes to the enhancement of public understanding and wellbeing, and so serves the wider civic mission of higher education as a public good. The impact of research in these disciplines also reaches well beyond the cultural sector, offering a valuable tool for major advances in fields including health and wellbeing, the environment and digital technology, and thereby contributing to the national response to twenty-first century grand challenges.’
Should you see fit, we would welcome further dissemination of this summary statement through your association’s communication channels, as part of your efforts to defend our subjects in the current hostile climate.
For ease of location, the full reports can be found at this link: https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1855/mp-d-overview-report-final.pdf.
With warmest wishes and thanks,
Maria Delgado (Chair, SP33), Robert Adlington (Deputy Chair, SP33), and on behalf of the members of Sub-panel 33
UOA34 Statement from panel chairs
We’re writing to you in your roles as subject association chairs. The release of the REF 2021 results has been followed this week by the publication of the overview reports for Main Panel D, including the Sub-panel reports covering our subject areas. Following the lead of our colleagues in Sub-panel 33, we want to acknowledge that the results for Sub-panel 34 (Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management) also offer a substantial evidence base demonstrating the centrality of these fields for HEIs, their local communities, and their national and international standing.
For example, the overview report for Sub-panel 34 notes:
(Paragraph 9) Overall, the sub-panel found strong profiles of research and impact across the submissions, with more than three-quarters being assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent. Units submitting to this UOA are highly engaged in addressing issues beyond the academy through strong collaborations and partnerships. As a result, impact case studies were often a particularly strong element of submissions, demonstrating impressive scope and ambition. Impacts ranged from local to international and across a wide range of domains, with significant and sometimes transformative impact across communities, publics, the cultural and creative industries, policy, government and civil society.
Paragraphs 36-46 identify the diverse range of impact and beneficiaries, spanning: education; culture; policy-making; health and wellbeing; civil society and public understanding; media and cultural organisations and practices; and economic prosperity.
The centrality of UK-based scholars in shaping and driving our fields internationally is also recognised (Paragraph 52). The subpanel was impressed by the richness of many research environments; the often creative and innovative use of research funding by submitting units; and extensive evidence of collaborations and contributions to shaping our field internationally. UK scholars/ institutions are clearly recognised as world-leading and often punch above their weight in our field.
We hope this is helpful, and do not hesitate to get in touch if there are other things we can do to defend our subjects in the current hostile environment.
The full reports can be found at this link: https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1855/mp-d-overview-report-final.pdf.
Thanks and best wishes,
Justin Lewis (Chair, SP34), Karen Boyle (Deputy Chair, SP34), and on behalf of the members of Sub-panel 34