Making the Research Dynamic Dominant in the Idea of the University

  • Ourania Filippakou
  • Ted Tapper
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


The empirical basis of this chapter is centred around the outcomes of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, although it is recognised that the assessment process has continued to evolve over time. The purpose of the process was to distribute core research funding selectively—to reflect that research output, in terms of both quality and quantity, varied considerably from one higher education institution to the next with parallel variations being shown by individual academics. The new universities, with Warwick and York leading the way, form a second tier in the UK research hierarchy in terms of the quality of their research outputs and the number of their faculty who contribute to their research output. In these terms they make up a group of universities which falls just below the leading research universities that is comprised of Oxford, Cambridge, the major civics, and the larger colleges of the University of London. However, because of its more specialised academic focus, the University of Essex occupies within the group. The research assessment exercise confers status as well resources, which may help to explain why all UK universities endeavour to have at least one or two departments which have a reputation for research excellence.


Research selectivity Measuring research quality Specialised research agenda 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationBrunel University LondonUxbridgeUK
  2. 2.Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (OxCheps)New College, OxfordOxfordUK

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