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African Studies and Anthropology at Birmingham has performed exceptionally well among all Areas Studies departments in the country in the Research Excellence Framework, with no less than 44% of our research judged to be ‘world-leading’. 

Cape Town waterfront

Waterfront, Cape town, South Africa

This is the result of the most recent national Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF), which assessed research publications and the public impact of research carried out in all universities in the UK 2008-2014. It is significant because the four UK higher education funding bodies allocate around £2 billion per year of research funding to UK universities, based on the quality and volume of each university’s research. The REF also provides accountability for public investment in research, demonstrates its benefits, and provides important benchmarking information about the research performance of UK universities. 

‘We are delighted with this recognition of the excellent quality of our research in African Studies at Birmingham, which reflects the first-rate and genuinely interdisciplinary expertise of our staff.’ Professor Corey Ross, Head of School.

‘REF 2014 has shown that the University of Birmingham is a centre of excellence for research across the full range of disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, confirmed as one of the leading five universities in the country for these disciplines.’ Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the College of Arts and Law.