University of Hull hits research high – as one of highest risers in UK

The University of Hull is one of the highest risers in the UK and the highest riser in Yorkshire for research excellence – according to new rankings from Times Higher Education (THE) published today.

The University’s world-leading research has been recognised in the results of the long-awaited Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) – the UK’s system for assessing the excellence of research in Higher Education.

The University of Hull is one of the highest risers nationally. Among Yorkshire’s universities, Hull is the highest riser and now in the top 4 – with the universities of York, Leeds and Sheffield taking the top 3 spots (REF 2021).

The results, as reported by THE, rank the University of Hull as 55 (joint) out 157 institutions – and mark another significant success for the University as it moves up the rankings.

The University is one of the highest climbers – increasing its overall ranking by 17 places from 72 (REF 2014) to 55 (joint). For research impact, the University has climbed 23 places to 42 (from joint 65th in 2014).

Following the recent announcement that the University of Hull was named in the top global 100 for Impact by Times Higher Education (THE), the REF results confirm the calibre of the University’s research in terms of impact and output. 


Research at Hull drives improvements to healthcare

Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at the University of Hull, said: “I am delighted that the University of Hull’s excellence in research has been recognised in this way – and that we are confirmed as one of the highest risers in the sector.

“We have improved in all areas and it is very pleasing to see that we have doubled our research graded at 4* – World leading, and the impact of research scoring is highly reflecting our strong partnerships and collaborations: from driving improvements to healthcare in our region and beyond to working towards the eradication of modern day slavery.

“These outstanding results are indicative of our wider improvements as a University across a range of measures, such as the teaching excellence framework and the THE global impact rankings, and reflects the positive direction of travel for the University.

“I would like to pay tribute to all colleagues and teams across the University who have worked incredibly hard for many years on our REF contribution – as well to all our external partners in industry, local government, NHS and essential services, and education whose partnership enables us to make a difference in our communities through our research.”


Break The Chain, the University of Hull’s campaign to raise awareness of modern slavery

Other highlights of the REF results for the University of Hull include:

  • The University’s overall score has improved from 2.7 in the last REF in 2014 to 3.1 – a significant increase.
  • Our research graded as world-leading (4*) has doubled.
  • 82% of our research is recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent (4*+3*).
  • All Units of Assessment have improved.
  • The University has made improvements greater than the sector average improvements in all areas of the REF – Outputs, Impact and Research Environment.

The University’s research is diverse in focus and interest: From social work and social policy to widening participation in music education, and from improving energy efficiency to tackling doping in sport – the research underpins teaching and demonstrates how the University is making a difference to people and communities – regionally, nationally and globally.

Tackling some of the world’s most critical challenges, the University is driving advances in healthcare and sustainability, addressing inequalities in health outcomes and wellbeing, developing solutions to combat climate change, and building understanding that will equip our students to make a difference.