Middlesex University Business School top-ranked in REF 2021 for research impact

Short write-up of the Business School's exceptional performance in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework Exercise in the UK

After spending 13 years in Australia at the University of Melbourne as PhD director, Assistant Dean RHD and Associate Dean Research, I was looking for a new challenge. Rather than join another traditional research university, I wanted to work somewhere where I felt I could make a real difference. Middlesex University fit the bill perfectly, with its focus on putting Knowledge into Action and a vision to transform outcomes for individuals, communities and organisations and to empower people to change their lives.

Middlesex is a post-1992 university. Hence initially its main focus had been on its teaching mission. However, over the years its research performance continued to grow. Even so, its strong academic staff potential meant that there was scope to improve even further; in 2014 I was therefore appointed to help transforming its research potential into success. I have written before about how our work in creating a supportive and collaborative research culture has been accompanied with a strong rise in the international research rankings. Today, I am delighted to report that it has also lead to an exceptional 2021 REF performance.

Business School REF 2021 performance

Middlesex University Business School achieved an exceptional REF 2021 performance. It improved considerably from an already strong performance in 2014.

  • We doubled the proportion of our research ranked 4* (world-leading) to 34%, with another 49% ranked 3* (internationally excellent).
  • Our GPA (Quality) ranking in Business & Management improved from 51 to 37, our weighted Power ranking improved from 38 to 32.
  • With 108 institutions submitted in Business & Management, this puts us in the top third of institutions in the UK.
  • On a combined GPA/Power ranking, we are the top-ranked post-92 university. We also match or outperform two Russell Group universities and two thirds of the other research-intensive universities.
  • On a combined GPA/Power ranking, we are the eight-ranked Business School in the London area after LBS, City, Imperial, LSE, KCL, Queen Mary, UCL, and before Royal Holloway, Birkbeck, SOAS, Brunel, and Goldsmith, as well as all Greater London post-92s.
  • We improved significantly in publications, impact, and research environment, but showed a particularly strong performance in impact and research environment. Both areas saw 100% of their performance scored as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • In Impact we rank no less than number 1 in the UK on GPA and number 13 on Power.

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