"Unistats lets you search, review and compare official information about universities and colleges in the UK, and the subjects they offer. It includes results from the National Student Survey – where more than 220,000 students give their views about the quality of their higher education experience. ...
HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England)¹ owns the Unistats websites and has contracted UCAS to manage the delivery and maintenance of these websites on its behalf."
"The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the new system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions (HEIs). In previous years, research quality has been assessed periodically through the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
We are currently consulting on proposals for the new framework. We will issue guidance on the REF in 2010 after completing the consultation. The first REF exercise is due to be completed in 2013.
We are working in collaboration with the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Department for Employment and Learning (Northern Ireland), and with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the new framework. Representatives of the four funding councils sit on a steering group which oversees its development.
The REF will focus on three elements, which together reflect the key characteristics of research excellence. These are:
* Outputs: The primary focus of the REF will be to identify excellent research of all kinds. This will be assessed through a process of expert review, informed by citation information in subjects where robust data are available (for example, in medicine and science).
* Impact: Significant additional recognition will be given where researchers build on excellent research to deliver demonstrable benefits to the economy, society, public policy, culture and quality of life. Impacts will be assessed through a case-study approach that will be tested in a pilot exercise.
* Environment: The REF will take account of the quality of the research environment in supporting a continuing flow of excellent research and its effective dissemination and application."
(Higher Education Funding Council for England)