Press release

MillionPlus welcomes Hefce’s REF2021 decisions

01 Sep 2017

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (1 September) welcomed the decisions published by Hefce which will, in part, determine how the next Research Excellence Framework will be managed.

Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The focus on inter-disciplinary research and the appointment of specific panel members to oversee its assessment aligns with the government’s industrial strategy and will be well-received by modern universities.

“We particularly welcome the decision to align the research and funding councils’ definitions of impact and widen the assessment of the impact of research on teaching to include impacts within the university as a whole. Perhaps most significant is the decision to increase the weighting of impact to 25% by reducing the weighting for outputs to 60%, which MillionPlus has advocated for some time.

“The UK needs a dynamic approach to research funding and a new fund for translational research in addition to the funding allocated as a result of the assessment of research excellence which the REF provides. These decisions on the future management of the REF will help Research England to deliver this.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. The decisions include a focus on interdisciplinary research with a specific panel member responsible for overseeing assessment, central guidance on the use of citation data where appropriate and some small changes to the UoA structures. Panel members will receive mandatory equality and diversity briefings, as well as mandatory unconscious bias training. There will be pilots on institutional-level impact conducted from 2018; while these will not form part of REF2021 they will inform decisions on future exercises. More information is available on the Hefce website
  3. Modern universities: key facts 2017
  4. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email