OfS releases last TEF results before major review

A quarter of providers now have a gold award, but four providers were moved down by the OfS

The Office for Students (OfS) has released the results of the 2019 Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), with more institutions achieving gold than last year.

Of the 282 higher education providers who received a TEF accreditation, 28% now have a gold award – an increase on last year. 204 accreditations are based on previous assessments and 78 on new evaluations.

12 HEIs increased their rating on last year and four were moved down by the panel. Staffordshire University and Loughborough College were two of the institutions to receive the gold award for the first time. Roehampton University and University of Wales: Trinity Saint David were both raised from bronze to silver by the assessors.

Awards are determined by an independent panel made up of students, academics and experts. They are calculated using data measuring teaching quality, the learning environment, and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

TEF is the subject of an independent review, due to be published in summer 2019. A government statement released in January 2019 said the review will investigate whether “those sources of statistical information, are fit for use for the purpose of determining ratings under the scheme”. It is also set to report on the impact of TEF on the international reputation of universities and its effect on employers and students.

We look forward to taking this work forward following the recommendations of the independent review – Nicola Dandridge

TEF has been criticised by the Russell Group, Universities UK (UUK) and others.

In a response to a call for evidence for the review, the Russell Group said it recommends “making several key reforms to provider-level TEF to address significant flaws in the benchmarking methodology”.

It gave an example that at one Russell Group institution over 96% of students progressed into employment or further study “but this score did not feature within the top 10% of the sector and the university’s performance was not recognised”.

UUK said any future TEF results should include “prioritising reliable judgements rather than differentiation between providers.”

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, said: “All providers registered with the us must deliver well-designed courses that provide a high quality academic experience.

“Since its introduction, the TEF has helped drive improvements in the student experience and outcomes, successfully focusing universities and colleges more sharply on achieving excellence in what they offer to students. We look forward to taking this work forward following the recommendations of the independent review.”


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