Archive: RAE 2008

NOTE: Please see the Research Excellence Framework page for the latest information on the REF, the current system for assessing research in UK higher education.

UCU repeatedly reiterated its policy of opposition to the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) - a mechanism by which a large portion of higher education funding was allocated.

The RAE has had a disastrous impact on the UK higher education system, leading to the closure of departments with strong research profiles and healthy student recruitment. It has been responsible for job losses, discriminatory practices, widespread demoralisation of staff, the narrowing of research opportunities through the over-concentration of funding and the undermining of the relationship between teaching and research.

Changes to the RAE methodology for the 2008 exercise made after previous exercise have done little to rectify the faults.

The process

The results of the 2008 RAE were announced in December 2008. In early March, UK universities found out how much of the annual £1.5 billion in research funding they will receive:

Equality proofing

UCU played a key role in highlighting problems of discrimination. Partly as a response to this pressure each institution in the next RAE had to draw up a 'Code of practice' and show how it equality proofs its submission process. It suggested that institutions need to be concerned with the fairness and transparency of the constitution of relevant committees, decision-making processes, distribution of resources, and appeals procedures.

See Annex G (pp. 40-45) of the Guidance on submissions for guidance from the Equality Challenge Unit on drawing up a code of practice on preparing RAE submissions

Getting prepared

We provided guidance for members on preparing for the RAE - - which showed the key points to look out for, and when to get help.

Safeguarding staff

The UCU (AUT) document 'RAE 2008: Guidance to local associations' (AUT-LA7669, Oct 05) sought to ensure that where there are useful safeguards they are made known to staff and that institutions commit themselves to adhering to them as a minimum response.

We also produced:

Last updated: 6 January 2016