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Research survey confirms world class status

Newcastle University has reaffirmed its position as one of the UK's top 20 research institutions, with the publication of the UK's official survey of research quality, the Research Assessment Exercise 2008. Newcastle is ranked 17th out of 162 universities and colleges in the UK, in a league table of 'research power', compiled by the influential 'Research Fortnight*' magazine, which has independently analysed the survey data.

The RAE 2008 identified research that is world-leading or internationally excellent in all 38 subject areas at the University, spanning the sciences, arts and humanities.

RAE 2008 is the first survey of its kind for seven years and has been conducted by the four higher education funding councils for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

All universities and higher education colleges in the UK are subject to the survey, and the results will be used to decide how much research funding they get in their annual grants from the Government, from 2009 onwards.Newcastle University's results are also important for the Newcastle Science City initiative, the success of which depends upon top class research attracting investment and creating jobs.

In the RAE 2008, the work of research staff was assessed by special panels and graded for quality, ranging from 4* (world leading) to 1* (nationally recognised). Research falling below this standard is expressed as 'unclassified'. In more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of subject areas at Newcastle University, at least half of all research was placed in the top two categories of 4* (world leading) or 3* (internationally excellent).

The results highlight the leading role of medical research and the outstanding achievements and quality of stem cell and cancer research. The University's position and high standing in engineering is affirmed by its performance in civil engineering, where it ranks second in the UK in terms of research power. In the humanities, Newcastle University is ranked in the top five for fine art, with Town and Country planning also highly placed.

The Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, said: 'I would like to thank all staff for their efforts and to congratulate those who have done well.

'I am pleased to see that an independent and authoritative source, such as Research Fortnight*, has again placed Newcastle University firmly in the top 20 in the UK for its research power.'

For more information please visit: http://www.ncl.ac.uk/research/rae/rae2008/