[Press and Public Relations] University of Leicester Scores Its Best Ever Results in National Research Assessment

December 2001

No 199


World famous Genetics Department Rated Five-star

The University of Leicester has recorded its best ever result in the national Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)- a crucial national barometer on the quality of research in British universities.

The University scored a total of 13 top grades of 5 or 5* - compared with six last time - and 84% of staff were rated as conducting research of a national or international calibre.

The results announced today (FRIDAY DECEMBER 14) reveal that the University of Leicester has more than doubled top grades since the last RAE in 1996.

The world-famous Department of Genetics, where Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys discovered DNA genetic fingerprinting, received the highest possible rating of 5*.

Subjects rated 5 were Archaeology, Biochemistry, Biology, Economics, Engineering, English, History, Law, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics, Pharmacology and Physics. Also rated 5 were Infection/Immunology, in the Clinical Laboratory Science Unit of Assessment, and Cardiovascular, in the Hospital-Based Clinical Unit of Assessment. A total of 12 subject areas were awarded a Grade 4.

The success comes at the time when the University of Leicester is celebrating its 80th Anniversary - with record student recruitment, research income at a record high (33 million) and the announcement of a 31million expansion and improvement programme.

The University has also performed well in teaching with scores equating with Excellent in 18 subject areas, including 12 successive scores in that category.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess said: "The University of Leicester has improved its research record since the last RAE. This reflects the splendid efforts by staff across the University as 84% of our colleagues are performing at national and international levels."

The Research Assessment Exercise results announced by the Higher Education Funding Council are crucial in determining funding allocations for research, and highlight the importance of research in British universities.

The RAE is a UK wide assessment of research performance in each university in the country with individual departments, or groups of departments, being given ratings ranging from 1 to 5* for the quality of their research work.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 28 January 2002 09:52
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