What is it?

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will allow the government to monitor and assess the quality of teaching in UK universities which in turn makes universities provide a better teaching experience for students.

It has been mentioned a lot in the media due to the revelation that student fees could increase, however, the media is not reporting any of the other facts that revolve around this. In this article I set out to talk about the good and bad facts of TEF.


One of the main factors of why the TEF is being introduced is because world leading universities in the Russell Group often appear high up in the league boards because of their research. This can often leave students without an education to match. Most students may be satisfied with their course, even though it could be much better, but they do not know this as they have nothing to compare it to.

The Teaching Excellence Framework is not only for teaching but for assessing everything that goes on before admission — from outreach, choosing candidates and interviews to the actual environment and then everything that students do after graduation.

Often times Higher Educational institutions will always be in the top 10 due to their history of simply being the best. TEF aims to make it a level playing field for all and will allow institutions a better chance of reaching the top 10. In turn this forces the current top 10 universties to work harder to retain their top 10 spots and thus provide a better education to its students.

Times Higher Education mock TEF: top 10

Using the 3 key core aspects of teaching outlined in this white paper

TEF will feature a bronze, silver, and gold ranking system. Universities can be awarded with one of these depending on how well it performs in TEF. One of the consultation responses say that:

“[The Highly Skilled Employment Metric] will need to be benchmarked to ensure it takes account of the students taught by that provider.”

“This will ensure that providers are not penalised for offering certain courses, or for taking on students from disadvantaged areas or with characteristics associated with less successful outcomes.”

TEF is only aimed at universities which is bad for institutions such as colleges which provide Higher Education. Throughout all of the whitepapers and documents that have been published by HM’s Educational Department of the Government the general theme has not involved colleges nor the impact or effect this will have on colleges. Because of this many colleges are forced into integrating TEF into the college ethos despite it not providing any benefits for the college other then a small award of being able to put a bronze or silver badge on their website.

TEF will allow universities to increase their student fees by £250 in accordance with inflation. Many students as well as the National Union of Students state this is unaccecptable because eventually university will only be for the richer in life and not those who show academic prowess or good application of knowledge. The NUS is running a nation wide campaign to encourage students to “wreck” the TEF with the National Union of Student boycott.


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