REF 2021: 80% of KBS Research ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’

Kent Business School has exceeded its reputation as a leading business school according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 which deemed 80% of its research as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.  The figure is a sharp increase from 67% in REF2014.

The University of Kent achieved incredibly impressive results overall, THE rankings showed Kent’s overall GPA at 38th (up from 49th in 2014), Outputs GPA at 34th (up from 50th in 2014), Impact GPA 38th (up from 49th in 2014) and Environment GPA 43rd (up from 46th in 2014).

Kent Business School’s ‘internationally excellent’ outputs rose from 65.8% to 79.4%.  For environment, the school increased from 62.5% in REF2014 as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ to 87.5%. Seven Impact Case Studies were submitted, 75% of which were rated as 3* or 4*.


The environment element of the REF is assessed for ‘vitality and sustainability’, including its contribution to the vitality and sustainability of the wider discipline or research base. 87.5% of research received a top 4-star or 3-star rating, with this measure in mind, an increase of 38% from REF 2014.

Major impact

REF measured the impact of research beyond academia in areas such as society, economy, culture, and environment. 75 per cent of research submitted by Kent Business School gained the top 4 or 3-star rating for its impact, deeming it either ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’.

Research that was submitted for its impact included areas such as a suite of simulation for the Port of Dover; automatic mass evaluation for real estate; research for HM Treasury’s Green Book to provide guidance on how to appraise, cost, and evaluate public projects in the UK; innovative heuristic optimisation techniques; a study which led to support for ethnic diversity in leadership roles in the NHS and research that encouraged a culture change in the Greek banking sector.

Professor Marian Garcia, Dean of Kent Business School said: “The REF results reaffirm our reputation as a research-intensive business school that has demonstrable and impactful influence on wider society.  We are particularly proud to have a staggering 80 per cent of our research considered to be world leading or internationally excellent, a significant improvement from 2014.

Our academics work tirelessly to produce transformational studies that alter the global outlook in areas such as banking and finance, human resources, management science and many more. This research excellence is embedded in our teachings and supports our mission as a school committed to sustainable innovation and to producing employable, ethical graduates who will have a positive impact on the future of the world.”

For REF 2021, Kent submitted to 26 of the exercise’s 34 Units of Assessment, three more than in 2014. Across the submission, 1,688 research outputs were submitted from 830 Kent staff, along with 78 impact case studies. 100% of all eligible staff were submitted to the REF.

Amongst the University of Kent’s many achievements, 56% of Arts & Humanities entire submission was ranked 4*, with all subject areas achieving top 20 positions and History receiving the highest score in the sector. The REF has also confirmed outstanding results for Law and for Social Work and Social Policy.

For more information on the REF 2021 results, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.