Friday, January 30, 2009

UPDATE: RAE 2008 Results in Philosophy

Previously, I wrote on the RAE 2008 results in Philosophy here. I first noted that:

"Readers will know that the UK has administered a "Research Assessment Exercise" (RAE) every few years. The RAE is an examination of the research quality of all departments across all subjects. The results will be published in full tomorrow, but some results have landed on my desk now.

Departments are ranked in the following way. Each department receives a share of 4*, 3*, 2*, 1* and 'unclassified'. A department where everyone is internationally excellent at the highest level would be 100% 4* 0% 3* and so on."

I then proceeded to provide several rankings: (a) departments scoring best on 4*, (b) a weighted average where 4*=4 points, 3*=3 points, 2*=2 points, and 1*=1 point, and (c) I then provided the Brooks ranking whereby 4*=10 points, 3*=5 points, 2*=2 points, and 1*=1 point. On my model, a 4* was twice as valuable than 3* and five times more than 2*.

It turns out that my Brooks ranking is almost identical with HEFCE's proposed weighting. Today, the Times Higher Education reports here that a 4* will count seven times more than 2* and 3* research will be funded three times that of 2*. Research at 1* and unranked will receive no funding at all. We can then use this ranking to come up with the following scale:

4* = 7 points
3* = 3 points
2* = 1 point
1* = 0 points
N/r = 0 points

The more points held by a department, the more that it will earn from the RAE exercise (multiplied by the numbers of staff submitted).

This then yields a new table based upon expected HEFCE funding of the RAE 2008 results in Philosophy:

1. UCL - 425
2. St Andrews - 410
3. KCL - 385
4. Sheffield - 380
5. Reading - 370
6. Cambridge HPS - 365
6. LSE - 365
6. Oxford - 365
9. Bristol - 345
10. Stirling - 340
11. Cambridge - 325
11. Essex - 325
13. Birkbeck - 320
14. Nottingham - 315
15. Edinburgh - 305
15. Leeds - 305
15. Middlesex - 305
18. Warwick - 265
18. York - 265
20. Durham - 260
20. Sussex - 260

I am pleased to say that my initial hunch was correct: this ranking is virtually identical to the Brooks weighted ranking. The only difference is that Cambridge moves from just behind Essex to tied with Essex. In terms of per staff submitted, the above ranking is how each Philosophy department stands.

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