18 December 2008

RAE Rankings

The OU went through the research evaluation exercise in the UK and though it's kind of hard to understand (I'm not sure I understand) depending on how you weight things, my department is either 3rd, 9th, or 21st, depending on how you count. The 9th looks to be most accurate, as we submitted more of our research to review than many of the other places.
Institute of Education
University of Cambridge
University of Edinburgh
University of Oxford
University of Bristol
King's College London
University of Nottingham
University of Manchester
Open University
University of Warwick
Not too shabby, if you ask me. Overall, the OU is 43 of 166, up from 66 the last time we were ranked. And apparently, The Guardian feels our department is 21 of 81. Can't argue with that and it is top 25%. I know no one cares, but the reason for the different ranking is based on the fact the OU submitted a much higher number of scholars for review than the other places (all except one or two). So we are third in number of 4* and 3* scholars and ninth in number of only 4* scholars by volume That is to say, we have more internationally recognized scholars than Oxford and Cambridge, but not a higher percentage of scholars of this grade. All that really matters for PhD students in the end is that your supervisor is submitting 4* work, and I suspect that Lynne, with her six publications of books or articles in international journals this year is likely one of them.