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Imperial College demonstrates international research excellence

Friday 14 December 2001
Under embargo for 00.01

The 2001 Research Assessment Exercise results published today by HEFCE reveal that Imperial College has risen to second place out of 148 universities.

Just 0.01 of a point separated the College from the top spot in a result which saw 75 per cent of staff - the highest proportion in the country - achieve a 5* rating.

Of the Imperial departments, 13 were graded 5*, and seven scored 5, and all have either shown improvement or maintained their position - a unique achievement among the top four universities.

Imperial College Rector Sir Richard Sykes said:

"A 6.68 ranking is a fantastic result, especially as 75 per cent of our staff achieved the highest mark - 5* - which puts us above all other UK university institutions.

"This overall improvement is very impressive by anyones standards. I have nothing but praise for those who have worked so hard to achieve such stunning results."

Rodney Eastwood, director of planning and information, who was responsible for preparing Imperials RAE submission said:

"Everybody has stayed up there or improved - no one has gone down which may be unique; of the top four institutions including Cambridge, Oxford and LSE, we are the only one that doesnt have a single unit of assessment that has declined.

"The results also vindicate our policy on mergers with medical schools. We were the only London institution that integrated its merging institutions. Were all pleased the medical faculty has done so well.

"However, theres no room for complacency. It is important to think how to further improve our performance for whatever assessment follows in four years time; a sobering thought is that a year of the research period has already been completed."


For further details contact:

Abigail Smith
Press Officer, Imperial College
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6701

Notes for editors:

1. The results for Imperial College are:

Unit of Assessment Name Rating College Dept/Division
Applied Mathematics 5* Mathematics (part)
Biological Sciences 5* Biological Sciences
Chemical Engineering 5* Chemical Engineering
Chemistry 5* Chemistry
Civil Engineering 5* Civil and Environmental Engineering
Clinical Laboratory Sciences 5* Faculty of Medicine (part)
Computer Science 5* Computing, IC-Parc
General Engineering 5* Bioengineering
Hospital Based Clinical Subjects 5* Faculty of Medicine (part)
Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering 5* Mechanical Engineering, Aeronautics
Mineral and Mining Engineering 5* Former TH Huxley School (part). Now Earth Science and Engineering
Physics 5* Physics
Pure Mathematics 5* Mathematics (part)
Business and Management Studies 5 Management School
Community Based Clinical Subjects 5 Primary Care and population Health Sciences
Electrical and Electronic Engineering 5 Electrical Engineering
History 5 Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine
Metallurgy and Materials 5 Materials
Pre-clinical Studies 5 Biomedical Sciences
Statistics and Operational Research 5 Mathematics (part)
Agriculture 4 Biological Sciences (part), former TH Huxley School (part). Now Agricultural Sciences
Environmental Sciences 4 Former TH Huxley School (part). Now Environmental Science and Technology

2. Units with research active staff are graded on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5* (highest). Units graded 5* are defined as having the majority of their research rated as being of international excellence with the remainder being of national excellence. Grade 5 units are international in up to half the research activity submitted and national in virtually all others.

3. The weighted average score is calculated using a 1 to 7 scale, where 1 counts as 1 and 5* counts as 7.

4. Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine is the largest applied science, technology and medicine university institution in the UK. It is consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions for research quality, with one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP339 million in 1999-2000) and research incomes (UKP176 million in 1999-2000). Web site: