The results of the Teaching Excellence Framework provide a new picture of excellence in teaching and learning in UK higher education.

The results and the underlying evidence will help students who are thinking about applying to university or college for autumn 2018, and encourage teaching and learning excellence across the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced by the Government to build evidence about the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector, complementing the existing Research Excellence Framework with an analysis of teaching and learning outcomes.

A total of 295 universities, colleges and alternative providers of higher education voluntarily took part in the TEF. Each provider was rated gold, silver or bronze, or received a provisional award where there was not enough data for a full assessment.
In the assessment, 59 providers were rated gold, 116 were rated silver and 56 were rated bronze.

Excluding those with provisional ratings, a gold award was achieved by 26 per cent of participants, silver by 50 per cent and bronze by 24 per cent.

The TEF awards were decided by an independent panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives. Drawing on national data, and evidence submitted by each university or college, the TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, the learning environment and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

The 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 that higher education equips the next generation of graduates for success.’

Professor Chris Husbands, Chair of the TEF assessment panel and Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said:
‘The Teaching Excellence Framework results offer – for the first time – an overview of teaching excellence across the entire UK higher education sector. It has been a privilege to chair this ambitious and ground-breaking assessment.

‘Alongside the headline results, we are publishing all the data and submissions, and statements of the assessors’ findings. Taken together, this is a set of material on teaching excellence which goes further than has been possible for any other university system in the world.’

Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said:
‘Students invest significant amounts of time and money in their higher education. They rightly expect a high-quality learning experience and outcomes that reflect their potential. The UK already has a high bar for quality and standards, which all universities and colleges must meet. But the TEF judges excellence above and beyond this, clearly showing the highest levels across the sector.

‘The TEF measures the things that students themselves say they care about: high-quality, engaged teaching and a supportive, stimulating learning environment which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential, and then to progress to a good job or further study.’

The TEF results and the evidence used in the assessment can be found at www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/tef/.
The TEF awards will also be published on Unistats and the UCAS website, alongside other information, to help inform prospective students’ choices. 


Notes to editors
1. The Teaching Excellence Framework – the first scheme of its kind – recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK’s world-class higher education sector.
2. In order to be considered for a TEF rating, higher education providers have to meet demanding national quality requirements. The TEF measures excellence above and beyond this.
3. The full list of ratings for each higher education provider is published at www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/tef/ together with the metrics, statements of findings and the submissions provided in support of the assessments.
4. The TEF awards are decided by an independent panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives. Universities and colleges are assessed against a set of measures which use national data and evidence submitted by the university or college.
5. The TEF measures teaching excellence in three key areas:
Teaching quality – teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies.
Learning environment – the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.
Student outcomes – the extent to which all students, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds, achieve their educational and professional goals.
6. The metrics measure student satisfaction, retention, and progression to employment. The metrics take account of differences in student characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied. This allowed the assessors to judge teaching excellence and outcomes for the specific students taught in each university or college.

7. The TEF rating for a given provider is:

Gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Silver for delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
Bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
Providers that meet rigorous national quality requirements but which do not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed may opt in for a provisional award.

8. Participation in the TEF is voluntary. Across the UK, 295 higher education providers (universities, colleges and alternative providers) participated. Of these, 231 providers applied for a TEF assessment (resulting in a gold, silver or bronze award) while the remaining 64 providers opted in for a provisional award.
9. Of the 295 participating providers, 134 were higher education institutions, 106 were further education colleges and 55 were alternative providers.
10. An award will be valid for up to three years.
11. The Government has previously indicated that universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award will be able to increase their tuition fees in line with inflation. The Department for Education will confirm the 2018-19 fee caps in due course.
12. The awards are subject to an appeals process which will be concluded in August 2017.
13. For more information on the TEF visit www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/tef/.

Press enquiries:

Paul Whittemore, tel 07484 701305, email p.whittemore@hefce.ac.uk.
Liz McCarty, tel 07841 32331, email l.mccarty@hefce.ac.uk.
Henny Fordham, tel 0117 931 7087, email h.fordham@hefce.ac.uk.