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Download the analysis of full REF 2021 panel membership

REF 2021 01 Analysis of full REF 2021 panel membership (593 KB)

Executive summary


1. In October 2019, the four UK higher education funding bodies
published an analysis of panel membership based on members who
had been appointed for the criteria phase of REF 2021.

2. This report updates the previous analysis to incorporate all
members and assessors who were appointed to the panels by
January 2021. The report presents analysis across the protected
characteristics, comparing the membership with the pool of
nominees for panel membership, the expert panels in REF 2014,
as well as the UK population of permanent academic staff, and of
permanent professors.

Key points

3. There is a statistically significant increase in the proportion of
appointed panel members from Black, Asian and minority ethnic
backgrounds compared with both the criteria-phase appointments
(in 2018) and REF 2014. The data show that the proportion of
those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in both
the appointed and nominations pools is roughly consistent with
population of permanent professors. However, it remains lower
than the proportion in the permanent academic population.

4. The updated analysis continues to show positive trends, as first
identified in the criteria-phase report, including:

  • Female representation has improved significantly since the
    previous exercise. The proportion of appointed members
    that are female is equivalent to that within the wider
    academic population.
  • The representation of appointed members with a declared
    disability has also increased since 2014 and is consistent
    both with the pool of nominees and the current permanent
    academic populations.

5. This analysis will be considered in detail by EDAP in its final
report in 2022. The report will include reflections from the panel, as
well as any recommendations for the funding bodies to consider for
future exercises.