Loughborough University’s design and technology department is producing some of the best academic research in the UK, according to a new Government study.
The Research Assessment Exercise, published today, has rated 55 per cent of Loughborough’s design and technology research as ‘world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour’.
Administered on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies, the RAE influences the designation of £1.5bn of research funding every year.
Other higher education institutions’ design departments to have done well include the University of Reading, where 45 per cent of research published by the typography and graphic communication department is deemed world-leading.
The Royal College of Art has achieved the third-highest ranking, with 40 per cent of its research described as world-leading, but is disappointed with the RAE’s assessment of some of its staff.
‘We are surprised that any of the staff we submitted…should find themselves in the lower categories. We will definitely be looking into this’, says an RCA spokesperson.
The RAE rated 35 per cent of art and design research at Dundee University, University College London, the Open University and the University of Brighton as world-leading.
At ten points ahead of the pack, Loughborough takes a significant lead. The university submitted research from both its design and technology department, and its ergonomics and safety research institute.
Loughborough University head of department of design and technology Tony Hodgson says, ‘We are hoping for increased public funding for research as a result of this RAE, and that the halo effect will enhance our bids for external funding and attract more commercial collaborators to work with us.
‘We are truly multidisciplinary, with engineers, scientists and practising designers all working together on product and industrial design research,’ he adds.