From education to employment

Teaching Excellence Framework – Sector Response

The Higher Education Funding Council for England has today (22 June) published the first set of ratings for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

It has revealed that the majority of UK universities are offering quality teaching to their students – 59 providers were rated ‘gold’, 116 rated ‘silver’ and 56 rated ‘bronze’.

The ratings will help students decide which university or college to apply to and encourage teaching and learning excellence across the UK.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

These results, highlighting the extraordinary strengths of our higher education system, will help students choose which university or college to study at.

The Teaching Excellence Framework is refocusing the sector’s attention on teaching – putting in place incentives that will raise standards across the sector and giving teaching the same status as research.

Students, parents, employers and taxpayers all have a shared interest in ensuring higher education equips the next generation of graduates for success.

Universities taking part have been assessed by an expert panel in 3 areas:

  • teaching quality
  • the learning environment
  • the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students

As set out in its white paper, Success as a knowledge economy (May 2016), the government will shortly begin a lessons learned exercise into this first trial year of the TEF. The findings of the lessons learned exercise will inform the operation of the TEF in 2018 and the intention to move to subject level assessments.

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Sector response to the TEF results:

david hughes 100 x100David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges,  said: “I’m delighted that the TEF has confirmed what we already knew – that colleges up and down the country are delivering high quality higher education which matches the best. The results, including 14 Gold awards, shows that HE students in colleges have great teaching, facilities and outcomes.

“This is the first set of full results for the TEF and I am sure that colleges and HEFCE will have learned a lot from the experience. We will start now to see how far the TEF influences student choices and it is likely that more colleges will want to enter to be graded in the future. We will work closely with the TEF team to ensure that the metrics and the assessment work well for colleges which tend to have more part-time and older students who are working whilst learning.”

Petra Wilton 100x100Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy of CMI comments on the TEF results: “Today’s Teaching Excellence results signal the importance of higher-level skills to boosting UK’s competitiveness, and the Government’s commitment to driving up excellence in student outcomes.  The new awards show how responsibility for developing these higher level skills is now increasingly spread across the education sector, with the highest gold ratings for teaching excellence being achieved across universities, FE colleges and private providers.  It is clear that those providers who are excelling are putting student experience and their employability outcomes at the forefront. As such, it is no coincidence that may of those providers achieving the Gold Award are also early adopters of the new degree apprenticeships, which blend degrees, with the work-based learning of an apprenticeship and professional qualifications. The TEF’s medal ranking system will also now help businesses recruit the highly-skilled workforces they need – something which is vital if the economy is to prosper post-Brexit.”


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