Teaching Excellence Framework 2017

The long awaited results for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017 have been published! Here is everything that you need to know.

TEF is an assessment of university performance for undergraduate teaching quality across higher education institutions in England. TEF was introduced to ensure that students were making the right university choices after the UK saw a rise in tuition fees hit the maximum of £9,000 per year, in 2012. TEF aims to measure the quality of teaching and learning performance of an institution and results are measured by a panel of experts who include academics, students and employers. Data is examined from the National Student Survey (NSS) based on categories such as; student satisfaction, employment results and continuation/drop-out rates.

Institutions are given one of three awards; gold, silver or bronze, based on the extent to which they meet the national requirements for UK higher education.

So what do these mean? 
Gold:  Consistently outstanding in the teaching and learning. They hold the highest quality of education that can be found in the UK. 
Silver: High quality teaching. They are consistent in the way that they exceed national quality requirements. 
Bronze: Provide teaching and learning outcomes that meet these national quality requirements.

The 2017 TEF results have been released and the list of 130 universities that participated can be found on Times Higher Education. Amongst those awarded a bronze TEF are Goldsmiths, University of Liverpool and University of Southampton. Some silver TEF awards were given to Anglia and Ruskin University, University of the Arts London and University of Warwick. Finally, some of the TEF gold winners were amongst Arts University Bournemouth, University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.

However, these results are slightly more complex than what they first appear. A gold TEF award is based on an institution assessment; this means that the same university can offer other degree programmes that are different in quality – so it is very possible that there are great degree programmes in universities with bronze awards and visa-versa! Although TEF measures do not directly reflect the quality of teaching and learning, the results are useful for prospective students – hoping to gain a full understanding of their university choices. TEF results are also useful in encouraging students to consider a wider range of universities that they had not considered before these results were published.

There is a lot of information to take in throughout the university application process, but don’t let these TEF results leave you disheartened. If you’re undecided there is useful information on our Find a Uni section, to help you choose the best undergraduate course and university for you. Or, if you have completed your application and are having second thoughts, WHICH university? offer advice to ease your mind before replying to your offers. 

- By Eliz Akdeniz
LinkedIn: Eliz Akdeniz

Thu 29 Jun 2017