Skip to main content

12 May 2022

ECS confirmed again as leading institution for education research in London

The School of Education, Communication & Society (ECS) is top in London and among the highest achieving 10% of UK universities submitting to the Education Unit of Assessment in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Books on shelves in a library - by susan-q-yin

In the REF2021 results announced today, the submission by the School of Education, Communication & Society confirmed us as the leading education institution for research in London.

Other highlights of our results under the Education Unit of Assessment (UoA) for REF2021 include:

  • Our research environment was highly rated, with 100% at 4* and 3*.
  • Over 80% of our publications were rated 4* and 3*.
  • 87.5% of our impact case studies received the top rating (4*), and 12.5% a 3* rating.
  • We maintained our position in the top 10% of UK universities submitting to the Education Unit of Assessment.

"This result confirms the continuing strong tradition of research impact in the School, which is due to everyone in ECS. The quality and opportunities for research and scholarship are products of our collective ethos, ways of working and relationships between colleagues."

Dr Liviu Matei, Head of the School of Education, Communication & Society

Our submission drew on work from our three research centres, representing our many strengths at the intersections of education, communication and society. This included research on:

  • pedagogies, engagement and participation in formal and informal STEM and environmental education settings, including the use of tangible, digital and physical objects in inclusive learning;
  • language learning and teaching, including work on inequality and linguistic diversity;
  • the theorisation of shifting communication practices in the digital sphere, health settings, multi-ethnic communities and other contexts; and
  • the analysis of policy process and effects, and related work practices and values, in education, youth work and children’s social care.

These strengths are being sustained by a rich array of ongoing projects, including: girls’ participation in computer science; linguistic analysis of Arabic and English natural conversation; and young people’s education-to-work transitions.

"We want our research to matter outside the university and don’t see the ‘impact agenda’ as an add-on. The impact case studies featured in our REF submission reflected our influence on national and international institutions, as well as public and third sector organisations, and how they adapted their ways of working and assessing education based on research findings."

Dr Diego Santori, Research Lead at the School of Education, Communication & Society

Members of the School are grateful for the awards from Research Councils and charities that have made their research possible, including the ESRC, British Academy, Nuffield, Leverhulme and Wellcome.

In this story

Liviu Matei

Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy

Diego Santori

Senior Lecturer in Education and Society