A message from the Chair and Deputy Chair of the REF panel

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The release of the REF 2021 results has been followed this week by the publication of the overview reports for Main Panel D and Sub-panel 33. These offer a substantial evidence base demonstrating the centrality of creative arts subjects for HEIs, their local communities, and their national and international reputations.

The overview report for Sub-panel 33 summarises as follows (para 112):

‘The outcomes for REF 2021 demonstrate that the quality of HEI research in Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies is higher than ever, laying claim to be amongst the best in the world. This excellence is by no means a purely academic achievement; accordingly, it cannot be adequately valued solely with regard to the balance sheets of individual HEIs. The research and impact assessed by the sub-panel, often realised through diverse collaborations with national and international partners, forms a crucial element of the UK creative industries sector, seeding industry activity across the devolved administrations and providing the backbone for local, national and international cultural infrastructures. This research is shaping the response of the creative industries to contemporary challenges, upskilling the workforce, and creating opportunity for audiences and artists. It is a key driver of cultural regeneration and the boosting of regional economies in areas targeted by the ‘levelling up’ agenda, fostering a wider civic vitality that benefits all who live, work and study in these regions. It enables close engagement with diverse local communities, and thereby supports HEIs in satisfying their corporate responsibility commitments. It contributes to the enhancement of public understanding and wellbeing, and so serves the wider civic mission of higher education as a public good. The impact of research in these disciplines also reaches well beyond the cultural sector, offering a valuable tool for major advances in fields including health and wellbeing, the environment and digital technology, and thereby contributing to the national response to twenty-first century grand challenges.’

For ease of location, the full reports can be found at this link: https://www.ref.ac.uk/media/1855/mp-d-overview-report-final.pdf.

Maria Delgado (Chair, SP33), Robert Adlington (Deputy Chair, SP33), and on behalf of the members of Sub-panel 33

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