REF and the University of Essex Motion

The following motion was passed at a quorate branch meeting on 14th February 2024.

This branch notes:

  • UCU national has an existing policy on the REF, and in May 2019, UCU’s annual higher education sector conference passed a range of motions on the REF, including a motion that called on the HESC to resolve to campaign against the use of REF criteria for performance management
  • UCU Essex has existing policy on the REF, including the following:
    UCU Essex opposed the formal linkage of REF assessment to career security in 2014.
  • We oppose the University’s current effort to pretend that they are not in fact directly linked, while it goes ahead with performance management measures (using REF metrics) leading to the threat of competence proceedings and dismissal.
  • This linkage and these threats have imposed unreasonable pressure on many research staff across the last five years.
  • The serious flaws and negative consequences of REF-related performance-management measures mean that HoDs should give the benefit of the doubt whenever possible

This branch resolves:

  • To arrange a meeting with the PVC (R) to discuss the University’s approach to the 2028 REF and any Code of Practice they may produce.
  • To campaign against the use of the REF criteria for performance management.
  • To support members that oppose the REF and its use in management practices.

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