The Faculty of Arts is heartened by the positive results of the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020. These results, we believe, were made possible by many factors, including strategic decisions during the lengthy process of preparation. Equally important, in our view, was the well coordinated collective effort across the entire Faculty. As preparations for the next RAE in 2026 are already on the immediate horizon, we would like to share what we did in this last round to achieve the results that we are pleased to affirm.
The Faculty of Arts achieved outstanding overall RAE 2020 results, interweaving its unique strengths in traditional and non-traditional research, and demonstrating strength across the individually assessed areas of Output, Impact, and Environment. Although Arts has long formed one of HKBU’s core areas of research, and certain ARTS Departments had performed well as Units of Assessment (UoA) in previous RAE exercises, our RAE 2020 results showed marked improvement in combined 4* + 3* scores in all UoAs.
This achievement came only as a result of thoroughly supported, well-coordinated strategies focusing on all three RAE elements of assessment and continuously evolving over the three Internal Research Assessment Exercises (IRAEs) conducted in 2017-19 through a collective, Faculty-wide process of planning, sharing, reflecting, and revising. This was carried out via a detailed process of inviting external reviewers to assess certain elements according to progress from one IRAE to the next:
Result – RAE 2020 results suggest that all Arts UoAs achieved significant combined increases in 4* + 3* outputs and decreases in 1* + U/C outputs over RAE 2014 (noting changes in assessment weighting and UoA categories)
- Strategy – Strategies centred on (1) improving 4* + 3* outputs and (2) minimizing 1* + U/C (unclassified) outputs via
- Careful selection, grouping, and prioritizing of all outputs
- Continuous improvement of abstracts and 100-/300-word descriptive statements for traditional and non-raditional outputs
- Building portfolios to document and support non-traditional outputs
Result – The Faculty of Arts attained three 4* ratings and three 3* ratings, achieving the most (50%) 4* Impact Case Studies submitted by HKBU
- Strategy – Strategies centred on rapid building of an overall impact culture spearheaded by individually spotlighted Impact Case Studies via
- Early identification of potential Impact Case Studies (ICS)
- Ample support to build Impact Case Studies
- Aligned approaches to narrating and evidencing impact
- Developing Impact Overview Statements of at least “internationally excellent” (3*) quality
Result – The Faculty of Arts attained three 4* ratings, two 3* ratings, and one 2* rating
- Strategy – Strategies centred on utilizing the RAE preparation process as an opportunity to build long-term research capacity via
- Implementing new sources of support to underscore advancing Faculty and Departmental environments into the next RAE cycle
- Developing measured, aligned approaches to narrating our collective research vision
- Developing Environment Statements of at least “internationally excellent” (3*) quality
Result – The Faculty of Arts gained distinction both among Hong Kong institutions and within HKBU:
৹ Arts was the only HKBU Faculty/School/AVA with two departments attaining the position of best performer among all Hong Kong institutions in the UoAs in considering the proportions of
♦ “Internationally excellent” (3*) and “world leading” (4*) research projects
◊ Humanities & Creative Writing
♦ “World leading” (4*) research projects alone
◊ Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies
৹ Arts was the only HKBU Faculty/School/AVA with UoAs achieving “world leading” (4*) quality in both Impact and Environment
♦ Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies
- Strategy – Strategies centred on giving equally high priority to Outputs, Impact, and Environment, irrespective of their assessment weighting
- As evidenced from the overall results, Arts UoAs focused maximum effort on all three elements of research assessment
- Optimal results were achieved by raising the minimum level of excellence in all areas
- Strong performance in Impact and Environment served to highlight traditional and emerging research strengths in Arts UoAs relative to other Hong Kong institutions.
Summary points of the RAE 2020 preparation process:
Encouraged by our achievement as a top-performing Faculty in the RAE 2020, the Faculty of Arts is committed to further developing its culture of research excellence throughout the wide variety of scholarly activities and creative practices pursued by our researchers.