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Malcolm Press

The REF results cement Manchester Metropolitan's position as a leading modern university and place it on a par with research-intensive institutions in terms of the volume and quality of its research

Manchester Metropolitan recognised for world-class research strength

12 May 2022

Manchester Metropolitan University has demonstrated its strength with a huge increase in the number of academics delivering research that is regarded as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)*. 

The results cement its position as a leading modern university and place it on a par with research-intensive institutions in terms of the volume and quality of its research (REF: ‘research power’). 30% of its overall research has been rated at the highest world leading (4*) level and 90% of its research impact is rated ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent,’ (3*) across more than 740 academics.  

Manchester Met is identified as one of the very best universities in the UK for research power in its key strength areas such as art and design (2nd), sport (6th), English (8th) and education (9th). 

Overall, it is a leading modern university for both the quality and power of its research. For research quality, it is 51st in the Times Higher Education (THE) REF rankings, and for research power 38th. It has the third highest increase in the UK, for market share** of potential future research funding.  

Manchester Met Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press CBE said: “These results show the value that UK universities deliver regionally, nationally and globally, producing ground-breaking research that drives prosperity, enriches communities and changes lives.  

“I am obviously extremely pleased that the quality and impact of Manchester Met’s research has been recognised. We not only doubled the size of our REF submission, but most importantly doubled the proportion of it recognised as world leading for originality, significance and rigour. 

“Producing impactful research that tackles some of the greatest challenges the world is facing is a key element of our University’s new strategy to 2030. The REF results show we can be confident in our aspirations for the future and set no limit on our ambitions.” 

Professor Richard Greene, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange at Manchester Metropolitan said: “Our research has impact far beyond our campus. The powerful stories behind the data show how we are enabling people to live healthier lives, pushing the boundaries of elite sport, helping to keep the UK economy globally competitive, working to tackle climate change, enriching our vibrant cultural sector and much more.” 

 *The REF is the UK's system for assessing the excellence of research in UK higher education providers (HEPs). It is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfE). The last assessment was conducted in 2014. For details on REF results and evaluation criteria visit: REF21. 

** The THE market share metric predicts the share of quality-related money allocated to under the current REF methodology for funding distribution. 

Find out more about some of Manchester Met’s world leading research: 

Sport and exercise science
Strength-based exercise 
Bone research 
Environmental Science 
Aviation and airports 
Tropical birds 
Moorland restoration 
Anthony Burgess 
Carol Ann Duffy 
Wave modelling 
Early years 
Business and Management 
Place Management 
Adult social care  
International Investment policy 
Art and design 
Age friendly Manchester 
Telling refugees’ stories through textiles 
Sustainable Fashion 
Heritage Action (Architecture)