Research Assessment Exercise 2008

The London School of Economics and Political Science has confirmed its position as a world-leading research university, with outstanding success in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

LSE has the highest percentage of world-leading research of any university in the country, topping or coming close to the top of a number of rankings of research excellence. It is:

  • equal second in the UK when universities are ranked using a grade point average of their research strengths
  • first when universities are ranked according to the percentage of their research receiving the top 4* (world-leading) grade
  • fourth when universities are ranked according to the percentage of their research receiving either 4* or 3* (internationally excellent) grades

LSE submitted over 90 per cent of eligible staff for assessment.

Howard Davies, Director of the LSE, said, 'I'm thrilled with our strong showing. To be ranked equal second among UK universities, using a grade point average, is impressive testament to the genuinely world-class research that goes on here -- and we have the highest percentage of 4*, or world-leading, research of any UK institution.'

Individual subject areas at LSE also head national tables of excellence. LSE comes top nationally by grade point average in Economics, Law, Social Policy and European Studies, with Anthropology coming second. If results are analysed by the percentage of research receiving a 4* grade, Anthropology comes top.

"We are a small, specialist university that has delivered outstanding results," said Professor Sarah Worthington, Pro Director for Research and External Relations. "Two-thirds of our staff work in LSE departments ranked in the top five in the country, and 36 per cent work in departments ranked first in the country. Students choosing to study at LSE know they will be taught by outstanding academics."

  • Economics has come top in the country, whether ranked by grade point average or by the percentage of research receiving the top 4* grade, with 60 per cent of research activity considered world-leading and a further 35 per cent considered internationally excellent.
  • Law also tops national tables, whether ranked by grade point average or by the percentage of research receiving the top 4* grade, with 45 per cent of its research ranked world-leading and 75 per cent world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Social Policy leads the field nationally, whether ranked by grade point average or by the percentage of research receiving the top 4* grade, with 50 per cent of its research recognised as world-leading, and 100 percent ranked at international level.
  • Anthropology has the highest percentage of world-leading research of any UK anthropology department (40%), and is also equal second when ranked by grade point average.
  • European Studies is first in the country when ranked by grade point average, with 65 per cent of its research judged world-leading or internationally excellent.

Using various ranking schemes, the LSE has calculated which universities are in the top five in the UK for research excellence. The table below ranks universities by institutional GPA, but the same five universities remain in the top five, although in different rankings, when assessed by percentage 4* or by percentage 4* and 3*. 

 

Top five universities by various rankings

 

 

 

 

Rank

Institution

Total FTEs submitted

GPA

%4 * for the institution

%4* or 3* for the institution

1

University of Cambridge

2040.39

2.98

32

71

2=

University of Oxford

2245.83

2.96

32

70

2=

London School of Economics
and Political Science

490.36

2.96

35

68

4

Imperial College London

1224.57

2.94

26

73

5

University College London

1792.68

2.84

27

66

 

Grade Point Average (GPA) league table: LSE calculated institutional GPAs in a way that takes account of the relative size of UoA submissions within an institution. The percentage quality profiles for UoAs were converted to their FTE equivalents, these added to give an FTE quality profile for the whole institution, and that profile re-converted to a percentage quality profile. This was then averaged to give the GPA for the HEI.

Information is also given in the table above on 'quality' according to the percentage of 4*s as well as the percentage of 4* + 3*s. LSE is the institution with the greatest percentage of 4* research attributed to the academics submitted to the RAE.

 

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