University welcomes outstanding research results

Published: 18 December 2008

The University of Glasgow has achieved outstanding results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

The University of Glasgow has achieved outstanding results in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. Main building

Almost 70 per cent of the institution’s research activity has been classified as world-leading or internationally excellent.

The RAE is a bench-marking operation to measure the quality of research being conducted by universities across the country and is an internationally-recognised barometer of quality. It is undertaken every seven years.

The most recent results show that the University of Glasgow is performing at the highest level across a range of disciplines.

In 33 subject areas, the majority of research was assessed as being of the highest international calibre, with 88 per cent of all the University’s research being internationally recognised. This builds significantly on the University’s 2001 performance.

Welcoming the outcome, University of Glasgow Principal, Sir Muir Russell said: “The 2008 RAE results reflect the strength of research at this university.

“We have performed extremely well across our wide disciplines and this is a reflection of the strategy that we have pursued to build a team of internationally recognised researchers in Glasgow.

“Our improvement in results shows that this policy has paid off.

“The University of Glasgow is one of the top 100 universities in the world and has an international research profile. These results match our international standing and underline our reputation across the world.

“I would like to thank the staff from the University for their efforts in preparation for RAE 2008.

“These results from around the country show the strength of research activity in Scotland as a whole and proves, yet again, that Scotland punches above its weight when it comes to world-class research.”

Professor Steve Beaumont, Vice-Principal for Research and Enterprise, said: “One of the university’s key strategic objectives is for our research to be recognised as world-leading. The RAE 2008 results show that we are achieving this.

“We submitted our research to the most vigorous assessment by subject expert panels and have come out with terrific results.

“Our cancer and cardiovascular research are both rated in the top five in the UK. Our submissions from Accounting and Finance, English Language and Literature and Theatre Film and Television Studies have also made the top five in their fields.

“The University’s History of Art department is the most highly rated of any university in the UK and our Vet School has been rated the joint best in the country.

“Computing Science is in the top 10 in the UK, as are Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Infection and Immunology, Epidemiology and Public Health, Dentistry,  Allied Health Professions, European Studies, Economics, Biological Sciences, Physics, Psychology, Library and Information Management [HATII], Celtic and Town and Country Planning.

“And in 22 subjects Glasgow is rated top in Scotland.”

The University submitted research to 48 out of a possible 67 units of assessment.

RAE 2008 is the sixth in a series of exercises conducted nationally to assess the quality of UK research and to inform the selective distribution of public funds for research by the four UK higher education funding bodies. The University was last reviewed by the RAE in 2001.

RAE 2008 has provided quality profiles for research across all disciplines. Submissions from institutions were assessed by experts in 67 units of assessment.

All the research submitted by each UK universityto the RAE has been rated either 4* (world-leading), 3* (internationally excellent), 2* (internationally recognised), 1* (nationally recognised) or 0 (sub-standard).


For more information, contact Ray McHugh in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3535 or email

First published: 18 December 2008