University of Hertfordshire making a difference as research reaps real-world benefits

Uni of Herts research

90 per cent of research at Herts was classified as having an ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact. - Credit: University of Hertfordshire

Research by the University of Hertfordshire is having real-world benefits after making the biggest jump in impact results across the higher education sector.

According to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework, 90 per cent of research at Herts was classified as having an ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact, ranking them 32nd out of UK universities – the highest position for a post-92 university.

Among projects impacted by Uni of Herts research were the following:

  • Monitoring air quality to protect public health – the university’s Particle Instruments Research Group created a ground-breaking design for a low-cost Optical Particle Counter. The device has been adopted by Essex-based company Alphasense, leaders in air quality monitoring.
  • Improving police ethics training and practice – Philosophy researchers worked with Hertfordshire Constabulary to improve training and guidance for police officers in how to handle ethical dilemmas that arise in policing.
  • Reducing harmful agricultural pesticides in the east of England – the university’s Agriculture and Environment Research Unit has created one of the most comprehensive pesticide resources in the world, based on two decades of continuous research.

“This fantastic achievement is a testament to the hard work of our staff, and the quality and impact of the research we carry out at Herts,” said Professor Quintin McKellar, University of Herts vice-chancellor.

“These results reflect our commitment to carrying out research that powers progress and positive change, by finding solutions to the most critical social, environmental and economic challenges facing society.

"Our research enriches our teaching, nurtures industry and public sector partnerships, and stimulates innovation – all providing a fantastic learning environment for our students."

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Professor John Senior, pro vice-chancellor, added: “The university's successful rise up the research excellence rankings, together with the outstanding performance of our research impact, fits perfectly with our vision to transform lives by delivering real world benefits to society through our research.

“I am delighted that our students, staff, wider stakeholders and international partners will share in this tremendous achievement, which has further enhanced the university’s growing research reputation.”