Universities opt in to the Teaching Excellence Framework

Universities show their support for a new assessment framework as part of government plans to raise standards.

Figures released today (Friday 27 January) have revealed that the vast majority of English universities have opted in to be assessed by the Department for Education’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

Applications for the first set of TEF assessments closed on 26 January 2017 and revealed that 299 providers agreed to participate, including all English members of the Russell Group. This included applications from more than 100 colleges and alternative providers.

The framework will assess higher education institutions against criteria including drop-out rates and progression to highly skilled employment and is part of the government’s plans for raising standards in higher education. It will also give students more information so that they can make the most informed decisions when deciding which university to attend.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson said:

"I am delighted that so many providers have decided to participate. The Teaching Excellence Framework will drive up the standard of teaching and give students clear, understandable information about where they are likely to receive the best teaching and outcomes.

"Such strong participation demonstrates that the sector has bought into the concept of the TEF and I look forward to seeing the results of the assessments in May."

Participating providers will be assessed by an independent, expert group of academics, students and employers, and will receive their ratings in May 2017.

As set out in its White Paper, ‘Success as a knowledge economy’ (May 2016), the government will shortly begin a lessons learned exercise into this first, trial year of the TEF. The findings of the lessons learned exercise will inform the operation of the TEF in 2018 and the intention to move to subject level assessments.