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Department ranked 5th in the UK in REF 2021

Posted on 12 May 2022

York’s Department of Education is the 5th strongest education department in the UK for research according to the Times Higher Education’s ranking of the latest REF results (2021).

As part of the process we submitted three impact case studies that focused on how our research has made a difference to how future teachers are selected, how modern foreign languages are taught, and how we can ensure fairness in access to postgraduate studies. All three of these impact case studies were rated as world-leading (4*) by the REF panel, placing our department joint top of the rankings for research impact in education. We are delighted to see our research making a positive difference to people around the world and will continue to focus on conducting research that makes lives, and learning, better.

Our staff’s research publications were also very highly rated, with half of our submitted research identified as 4*, or ‘world-leading’. We ranked joint second in the UK for the quality of our publications.

Overall, the department has climbed 8 places since the last REF exercise in 2014. This leap in performance recognises the excellent work of our researchers in producing research of the highest calibre that makes a difference to schools, teachers, pupils, university students and education systems in the UK and beyond. It is also testament to the efforts of all of our staff and students who support and enable our research production. This was a team effort.

We are delighted that our collective efforts have been acknowledged in the outcomes of the REF exercise.

Professor Paul Wakeling, Head of Department

We have always been proud of the research we produce at York, and of the community of staff and students that make it possible. We are delighted to have the quality of our research endorsed in this way by the REF panel.

Head of Department Paul Wakeling said: “In the Department of Education, we are committed to conducting research which pushes back the frontiers of knowledge in understanding and improving learning and the policies and systems which affect it. We are delighted that our collective efforts have been acknowledged in the outcomes of the REF exercise.”