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REF 2028 plans ‘devalue UK research’, says former VC

Nigel Thrift warns that the Research Excellence Framework’s primary purpose is being lost

The planned reforms of the Research Excellence Framework risk devaluing its central purpose, a former vice-chancellor has warned.

Nigel Thrift, who led the University of Warwick from 2006 until 2016, argues in a Higher Education Policy Institute paper that changes proposed for REF 2028—including a cut in the percentage of the exercise given over to qualitative assessment of research outputs via peer review—could render the exercise less focused and therefore less effective when used as part of quality-related funding allocations.

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