What is the Teaching Excellence Framework?
The Teaching Excellence Framework (or TEF if you’re trying to save time saying it) is how the standard of teaching at universities, colleges and alternative providers of education will be judged by the government from now on.
Using national data, as well as information submitted by universities and colleges themselves, the TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes.
The awards are judged by an independent panel of experts made up of academics, students and employer representatives, who look at:
Student satisfaction (based on National Student Survey results)
Graduate employment rates (with career skill levels being taken into account)
The extent to which teaching stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies.
The effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.
The extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
What Are the Teaching Excellence Framework Ratings?
Similar to the Olympics medal system, institutions will be awarded Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on their quality. The awards are broken down like this:
Gold: “Outstanding levels of stretch that ensures all students are significantly challenged to achieve their full potential”.
Gold means they’ve consistently delivered outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. They are basically the cream of the crop, the best of the best.
Silver: “High levels of stretch that ensures all students are significantly challenged”
Silver is given to those who have been found to deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.
Bronze: “Of a satisfactory quality … however, the provider is likely to be significantly below benchmark in one or more areas.”
Bronze is for those whose teaching, learning and outcomes met the TEF’s national quality requirements.
Any places that put themselves forward to be rated but didn’t provide enough information or data receive a provisional award as the panel couldn’t make a fair judgement.
Once awarded, institutions will have these rankings for up to three years, after this point they’re likely to be assessed again.
Universities and colleges didn’t have to enter themselves for a TEF rating, but out of the 295 that did apply to be rated, 26% got gold, 50% got silver and 24% got bronze.
Russell Group universities entered themselves into the TEF, eight of which were given a gold rating, ten were awarded silver, and three got a bronze.
Why Is the Teaching Excellence Framework Useful For Students?
It’s hoped that the TEF ratings this will help inform prospective students like you when you’re choosing which university or college to go to. The more information you have about teaching quality and what to expect, the more likely you’ll
pick the right university for you, and the better prospects you’re likely to have.
Can Universities Raise Fees Based on Score?
Universities who have a TEF award can only raise their fees in line with inflation, which means this year (2017/18) they can only charge a maximum of £9,250 a year.
However, the fees for students starting in 2018/19 will be confirmed by the Department of Education sometime in the near future as this hasn’t yet been decided.
Who Got Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework?
So, who’s come out with the highest award you can get in the TEF? Well, these guys:
When they heard about their win, Bangor University said: "Bangor University’s impressive performance in TEF reflects the focus we place on our students. Amongst the areas highlighted by TEF as particular strengths at Bangor were the ways we engage with our students, the personalised support we offer to students, and our enhancement of students’ employability through schemes such as the Bangor Employability Award.
The TEF Gold award is a fantastic accolade to receive and reflects the great things going on at Bangor University. We’ve been investing heavily in the student experience with a new student village, improved sports facilities and a new arts and innovation centre amongst recent developments. Bangor offers free membership of all Students Union clubs and societies, and students can also take advantage of schemes such as Languages for All, where they can learn one of seven languages for free and further improve their employability."
Who Got Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework?
The following providers have come out with a silver award to show off:
Who Got Bronze in the Teaching Excellence Framework?
The following universities will be showcasing their brand-new bronze TEF award to students…
Who Got a Provisional Award in the Teaching Excellence Framework?
And finally, these are the universities who either put themselves up for a provisional award or received one because there wasn’t enough data to give them a gold, silver or bronze…
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about the Teaching Excellence Framework!