The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) was a UK-wide exercise run on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. The results inform the Higher Education Funding Council's (HEFCE) allocations of quality rated (QR) research funding.
Of all the University of Oxford’s research activity submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise:
- 32% was rated 4* (world leading)
- 70% was rated either 4* or 3* (world-leading or internationally excellent)
This means that the University of Oxford was judged to have the largest submission of world-leading research (4* rated by HEFCE) in the UK. Oxford also made the largest submission of world-leading or internationally excellent research (4* or 3* rated) in the UK.
The University of Oxford has topped those league tables which factor in the number of researchers assessed, thus providing an assessment of research quality and research ‘power’.
Oxford submitted a higher number of staff than any other higher education institution taking part in RAE 2008 (2,246 FTE). More than 85% of academics were submitted.
The RAE 2008 results were compiled in a different way to the RAE 2001. In 2001 departments were given a single rating from 1-5*. This has been replaced by a quality profile which identifies the proportion of activity reaching each of the following ratings:
- 4* Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour
- 3* Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which nonetheless falls short of the highest standard of excellence
- 2* Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
- 1* Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
Unclassified Quality is activity that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work or which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of assessment.
Oxford's RAE 2008 results (including full details of quality profiles) are available at the RAE website.
QR funding for 2009/10
Oxford’s outstanding performance in RAE 2008 was reflected in the research funding awarded by HEFCE. The University of Oxford was awarded the highest level of QR funding from HEFCE of any University (£119.4 million for 2009/10).
Previous RAE results
View previous RAE results (from 1992, 1996 and 2001).