Business School

Research in Business and Management Studies improved by 21%, a result that was 9th highest in the UK

Business School celebrates ‘strong result’ in Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

The University of Exeter Business School’s mission to push the boundaries of knowledge in the areas of environmental sustainability, technological transformation and responsible leadership has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

Nearly all (99%) of the research submitted by the University of Exeter was recognised as of international quality in what is the first UK-wide assessment of research since 2014, released today.

The Business School submitted research in two Units of Assessment (Economics and Econometrics, and Business and Management Studies), both of which ranked in the UK’s top 10 for internationally excellent impact*.

Ninety-two per cent of Business and Management and 89% of Economics and Econometrics research was judged to be world leading or internationally excellent.

Research in Business and Management Studies improved by 21% on REF 2014 – the highest improvement recorded across the University – a result that was 9th highest in the UK (up from 39th in REF 2014).

In Economics and Econometrics the Business School’s sector ranking for world-leading research rose to 17th in the UK, a 15% improvement on REF 2014.

Professor Alexandra Gerbasi, Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the University of Exeter Business School, said: “I would like to state what a strong result this is for the Business School, and would like to extend my thanks to all colleagues whose hard work has made these results possible.

“The results demonstrate the breadth and depth of world-leading research taking place in the University of Exeter Business School, and we should all be very proud of our performance in the REF 2021.”  

The University of Exeter recorded significant growth in both the quality and quantity of research carried out across the whole university, with 62 per cent growth recorded in 4* research, identified as being truly world-leading.

It also saw the fastest growth for impact – the measure of how much its research changes the world – amongst Russell Group universities, recording a 72 per cent rise in the highest classification of 4*.

As a result, the University of Exeter is ranked 18th in the UK for ‘Research Power’ – which is the cumulative measure of both the quality and quantity of the research conducted at the institution.

Exeter’s sustained strategic investment has also resulted in a meteoric rise in research assessed as part of REF21, with the number of researchers increasing by 70% - from 736 to 1259 (full-time equivalent) and volume of research doubling since 2008.

An overview of the results of REF 2021 and a review of Exeter’s submission can be found on our REF 2021 website.  

See here to read more about the University of Exeter’s REF 2021 results.

Learn more about the Business School’s expertise here.

* Based on an overall impact GPA for Business and Management (4th place), and 4* impact for Economics (8th place).

Date: 12 May 2022

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