Press release

MillionPlus comment on the REF 2021 results

11 May 2022

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (12 May) commented on the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF) exercise.

Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“That over 80% of UK research is rated either world-leading or internationally excellent is welcome news.

“It is clear that changes to the exercise since the last REF in 2014 have helped to better identify and recognise excellence wherever it is found, from institutions large and small, and across every region and nation, as well as the key role of impact in research excellence.

“It is our hope now that this positive change will also be reflected in a more equitable distribution of funding for UK research.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  3. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  4. Modern universities: facts and stats 2021