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Pressure mounts on universities over REF guidance

The University and College Union has called on UK universities to publicly reject plans to allow institutions to submit the work of staff who have been made redundant to the Research Excellence Framework.

The appeal follows the publication of REF 2021 guidance on 31 January, which said that the submission of outputs of former staff who were made redundant would be permitted. Universities will be invited to make submissions to REF 2021 in early 2020, with the deadline for submissions set for 27 November 2020.

In a letter sent to university vice-chancellors on 5 February, UCU’s head of policy and campaigns Matt Waddup said the decision had “provoked significant anger amongst academic staff, particularly in a context of endemic casualisation and increased performance management of research”.

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