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Cambridge Judge Business School’s global reputation in business and management studies is recognised in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.


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The results from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK announced today (12 May) highlight the global impact of research at Cambridge Judge Business School.

The Times Higher Education’s rankings placed Cambridge Judge at #1 for Business and Management Studies in REF 2021.

Ninety-four per cent of Cambridge’s overall submissions within REF 2021’s Business and Management Studies unit of assessment have been rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (compared to 89% in the previous REF in 2014), demonstrating the major global impact that Cambridge Judge researchers are making on society.

Seventy-three per cent of Cambridge Judge’s submissions were awarded the highest rating of 4* overall, meaning they are ‘world-leading’. A further 21% of Cambridge Judge submissions for REF 2021 were rated 3* overall (‘internationally excellent’).

The REF is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions and is undertaken by the four UK higher education funding bodies: Research England, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, and the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland.

For the purpose of the REF, each academic discipline is assigned to one of 34 units of assessment – such as Clinical Medicine, Chemistry, Philosophy, and Business and Management Studies. Each unit is judged by three criteria:

  • outputs (such as publications, performances, and exhibitions)
  • their impact
  • the environment that supports research.

Among the data submitted by universities and other institutions are case studies that describe the impact of their research – where they have made a difference to society, health and the economy, for example.

The University of Cambridge has prepared a Global Impact Map, which includes references to the Cambridge Judge REF 2021 case studies.

The case studies highlighted in the Cambridge Judge REF submission were:

Mauro Guillén
Professor Mauro Guillén

Professor Mauro Guillén, Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, said:

“I send my congratulations and thanks to everyone at Cambridge Judge Business School who participated in the latest REF, whose results underline the world-leading excellence and global nature of Cambridge Judge research. Their dedication, hard work and innovative perspectives are reflected in these results, as is the important impact this research is having on some of the critical issues affecting our society.”

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