Press Releases 2014-2015

Classics at UWTSD celebrates its strong performance in REF 2014


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted with its result in the Classics Unit of Assessment of REF (Research Excellence Framework) announced earlier today (18.12.14).


The only Classics submission to put forward from any Wales based University, UWTSD is pleased to note that 38% of its research in is judged as internationally excellent with 4% deemed to be world leading.

50% of the School of Classic’s research is recognised as very considerable in terms of its impact confirming its innovative approach to the subject as a modern and engaging discipline.

70% of the School’s research environment is also recognised for supporting research of international standards with 20% of that being internationally excellent.

The only University in Wales to submit to the REF Classics Unit of Assessment, UWTSD believes this reflects its commitment to the subject cluster and its contribution to other disciplines.

Classical antiquity has been a key focus of study since the very inception of the campus at Lampeter and still continues to play a major role in the new transformed institution. Over the past few years there has been substantial growth in the delivery of courses related to the ancient world and the number of staff has increased from 7 in the 2008 RAE (Research Assessment Excerice) to 10 for REF 2014. T

The work of all staff was submitted to for assessment and UWTSD is delighted that 42% of their work was deemed to be internationally excellent or better. This is a substantial improvement since the 2008 assessment when 25% was judged as being world leading or better.

"This is an excellent result. All our staff in this subject are research active and were submitted in the assessment,” says Dr Mirjam Plantinga, Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Performance. 

“This is an impressive result in the light of the fact that over 50% of staff are early career researchers. The result demonstrates the continued strength of this subject within the University but also the opportunities that we provide for postgraduate and undergraduate students," adds Dr Plantinga.

All ten members of staff within the Classics cluster are based on the Lampeter campus of UWTSD. The cluster brings together members of different schools and this is a grouping which reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the research undertaken by the cluster.

Research in the Classics cluster is organised around four key strands – Narrative; Rome and the West; Economy and Materiality and the Ancient Near East.

Across UWTSD, 47% of its research work was noted as being world leading or internationally excellent with the remainder of the work submitted noted as being internationally and nationally recognised.

This result represents a significant increase on the last research assessment exercise conducted in 2008 where an average of 26.5% of research was judged as being world leading or internationally excellent.

The results reflect the University’s strengths in a number of key research areas with particular strengths in Art and Design and the Humanities.

Note to Editor

1. Full details of our REF2014 results:

2. Research Excellence Framework 2014: The four UK higher education funding bodies allocate about £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. They aim to support a dynamic and internationally competitive UK research sector that makes a major contribution to economic prosperity, national wellbeing and the expansion and dissemination of knowledge.

3. Aims of the Research Excellence Framework To distribute funds selectively on the basis of quality, the funding bodies assess universities’ research through a periodic exercise. This was previously known as the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and was last conducted in 2008. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) replaced the RAE. It assessed the quality and impact of research submitted by UK universities across all disciplines. The results will be used by the funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015-16. As well as informing funding allocations, the REF provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important reputational yardsticks and benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities.

4. REF2014 key facts for the UK

  • 154 UK universities took part
  • They made 1,911 submissions for: 
  • 52,077 academic staff
  • 191,232 research outputs
  • 6,975 impact case studies
  • 36 expert sub-panels reviewed the submissions, overseen by four main panels
  • around £2 billion per year of research funding will be allocated on the basis of the results.

5. Note: The four UK funding bodies are: the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and Department for Education, Northern Ireland

6. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University

7. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University

8. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014

Further Information

For more information please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 01267 676908 / / 07449 998476