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For the first time since 2001, research at the universities and colleges in the United Kingdom has been evaluated again in the form of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The RAE, published on 18 December 2008, finds research in UK higher education in remarkable shape.
Research work submitted by 159 universities and colleges involving some 52 000 researchers was reviewed by experts, including international ones. The quality of the submissions was classified into four categories (‘world-leading’, ‘internationally excellent’, ‘recognized internationally’ as well as ‘recognized nationally’). 17 percent of submissions made it into the top category and 37 percent into the second. Adding up the top three categories, almost all research in the UK (87%) was found to be of international quality. Nearly half of all higher education institutions had at least some world-leading quality research among their submissions. Brainy Britain.
More details on this uplifting exercise can be found on the RAE website.