Monday, 24 September, 2018

ULaw among gold-rated universities in government's first teaching rankings

Source iStock     Down to earth London’s universities have fared less well in the TEF Source iStock Down to earth London’s universities have fared less well in the TEF
Nellie Chapman | 23 June, 2017, 04:52

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) was awarded gold in the government's new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which is created to help students decide where, and what, to study.

Each provider is rated Gold, Silver or Bronze, or receives a Provisional award where there was not enough data for a full assessment.

Travis Davies, Vice President of the University's Students' Union, said the achievement reflects the dedication of staff and their attitude towards higher learning.

But Tim Bradshaw, the acting director of the Russell Group, said in a blog earlier this week that the TEF did not use the right criteria.

A "TEF lessons-learned" exercise will be undertaken by the Department for Education in conjunction with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and a "far-reaching independent review" of the TEF will be conducted in 2019 and will report to Parliament.

The Universities of Oxford, Portsmouth, Kent and Surrey all achieved the highest category for the quality of their teaching and learning.

"It is right we recognise improvements across the sector, and celebrate them".

They were assessed on a range of measures, including teaching quality, student satisfaction, drop-out rates and whether students go on to employment or further study after graduating.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) - the first scheme of its kind - recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK's world-class higher education sector.

Bangor University was awarded gold, while five other colleges got silver. Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can take part in the TEF, but their results will not be tied to fees.

She added: "To hold any TEF award universities and colleges must already have cleared a high bar". "If you look at what the TEF measures, it's exactly the kind of things that provoke questions from students and parents on open days - for instance, how will you support students to gain a rewarding job?"

Deputy vice-chancellor professor Catherine Harper said the teaching excellence is a direct result of a strategy which sees all "teachers research, and all of our researchers teach", meaning that "stimulating, challenging and genuinely impactful research and professional practice" is embedded into the everyday learning experience.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said there are concerns about how global students will view the results.

Many universities often considered to be less prestigious also received gold ratings, such as Liverpool Hope, De Montfort, and Nottingham Trent.

"The fear is that students, beyond the United Kingdom in particular, will use these results as the basis for deciding which United Kingdom university to attend, which could damage some institutions", she said.