These strong results establish Exeter as the leader in the field in terms of research quality, impact and environment

Research at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies has been rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

These are the strongest REF2014 results of any Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies department in the UK submitted to the Area Studies Panel, and they establish Exeter as the leader in the field in terms of research quality, impact and environment.

These are the strongest REF2014 results of any Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies department in the UK submitted to the Area Studies Panel, and they establish Exeter as the leader in the field in terms of research quality, impact and environment.

Across all the 23 submissions in Area Studies, IAIS at Exeter ranks:

  • 2nd in terms of 4* research
  • 3rd in research rating average
  • 4th in terms of its research environment.

IAIS achieved a 100% score at 4* (“world-leading”) in the Impact category, a measure of the benefit of a department’s research to society beyond academia. This is one of only 2 such scores in the Area Studies Panel, and places IAIS in the top 2% for Impact nationally across all subject areas.

Read our impact case studies.

The results reflect a highly effective research strategy, implemented since the last assessment exercise in 2008. Middle Eastern Studies at Exeter has expanded, been enhanced, and its leading international position in the field confirmed.

Gareth Stansfield, the Director of the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, commented:

"I am delighted with these results.  They show how IAIS's research is not only world-leading academically, but also makes a real difference to society, both in the UK and globally.  The results confirm IAIS’s position as a world-leading, internationally recognised centre for the study of Islam and the Middle East".

The results are evidence of the strengths of the “Area Studies” model.  The region is studied, through an analysis of politics, language, culture, religion and history.  This interdisciplinary approach creates a more nuanced and sophisticated understanding of the Middle East than limited disciplinary approaches.  IAIS’s Area Studies model enables society generally, and policy makers in particular, to be better informed about developments in the Middle East.

The results are the assessment of the research submitted by Exeter’s Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies (IAIS) to the REF Area Studies panel (Sub-panel 27), and reflect the excellent research carried out in IAIS since 2008.

Research Excellence Framework 2014 based on the percentage of research categorised as 4*. Arab and Islamic Studies is returned to the Area Studies Unit of Assessment.

Date: 13 January 2015

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