Success for the School of Education in REF 2021

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results have recognised that 81% of the School’s submitted research activity is either "world-leading" or "internationally excellent".

Overall, just under a third (30.1%) of the School’s submitted research outputs were judged to be “world-leading”, while 38% were “internationally excellent”.

All our impact case studies were assessed as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” and demonstrated how our research is making a difference in higher education digital pedagogy and assessment, curriculum enactment, and education as a driver for social justice.

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the system for assessing the quality and impact of research in UK higher education institutions along with the environment that supports this research. For the REF 2021 submission, research and impact from our schools and institutes were assessed by disciplinary units, known as Units of Assessment (UoA). At the University of Leeds, the School of Education was the only School to enter its research submission into UoA 23.

The submission for the research environment was assessed as being 100% “internationally excellent” or “world-leading”. The School attracts world-class talent and fosters an environment that supports these researchers and their research ambitions. 
Overall, the results show that the School of Education undertakes genuinely world-leading and world-changing research that expands the frontiers of knowledge and achieves significant impact.

We look forward to building on our success as we pursue our vision for research in Education. We plan to develop our focus on innovative pedagogy and teacher knowledge, and education that achieves social justice and addresses significant global challenges. Preparing the School’s REF 2021 submission was a considerable undertaking. Many thanks and congratulations to our researchers and professional services staff who made this achievement possible.

Professor Vanessa Kind, Head of the School of Education

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds, adds: “The University is a values driven organisation that works with academic, governmental, industrial and third sector partners to deliver world changing research and create a fairer future for all.

“That is why it is so encouraging that the REF 2021 results show we continue to provide research that is shaping the world around us for the better.

“The results are a testament to the hard work of our researchers, professional services staff and Unit of Assessment leads. I thank everyone who was involved in this monumental effort.”

Further information

For media enquiries contact the University of Leeds press office via

View the University of Leeds results for all units of assessment.