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Prof David James
Cardiff University, United Kingdom

In the opening conference plenary David James presented an overview of education submissions in REF 2021 and highlighted key points about outcomes, whilst making some comparisons with REF 2014 and with other social science submissions. He described key aspects of the nature of the assessment and how the sub-panel worked, indicating elements that make REF distinctive amongst quality assessment processes associated with the spending of public money. He concluded by arguing that given the breadth and significance of educational activity and the volume of public expenditure it commands, the REF reveals a concerning level of investment in UK educational research.

This session is intended to contribute to accountability to the community of educational researchers whilst also suggesting that the REF provides the basis for further worthwhile activities and engagements across that community.