The new Teaching Excellence Framework, What does it mean for universities?

The new Teaching Excellence Framework, What does it mean for universities?

You have decided to go to university, chosen your course, attended a few open days, found a spacious welcoming campus with plenty of activities and a city or town that is charming and bursting with cultural and social hangouts. All very important but what about the teaching and quality of the course?

A student is paying a large sum of money to get that all-important degree so it is vital that they feel they get value for money.  The quality of teaching is a vital part of this – and universities will want to ensure that their students aren’t left feeling dissatisfied. But how can the students find out about a university’s quality of teaching?

Until recently, universities have based their reputation on research.  This is mainly due to the funding that institutions receive;  funding is based on their performance in national research excellence. It has been claimed that this could make universities more focused on improving research and less on teaching. This has lead to accusations at times that the quality of teaching may not have had the focus and attention that it should.

As a result, the government have decided to readdress the balance towards teaching. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has been set up to help provide students with quality information about their degree choices.

The measures assessed include facilities, student satisfaction, drop-out rates and student opportunities after finishing their course.

The participating universities receive gold, silver or bronze awards, with gold standard universities having demonstrated that they have excellent teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.

The grading is mainly based on three sets of information:

  • students’ views of teaching
  • assessment and academic support from the National Student Survey
  • drop-out rates and rates of employment

It seems that TEF could go a long way in helping students make an informed decision on choosing a university that will help them achieve success in a career post-university.

On the plus side, it can go a long way on how an institution is run. If the university improves a student’s quality of the course and helps them achieve a great career it can only be a good thing.

Clearly, a student should consider a range of features when choosing a university.  Clearly the quality of teaching is an important part of this, but equally important are features such as student activities and cultural and social aspects. After all, this helps contributes to the overall student experience. Perhaps most importantly a student needs to able choose the right course to achieve their own learning and career objectives.

So how can students ensure that they are making informed decisions about university choices?

This is the question at the heart of what we do at CASCAID.  We want to support young people to make the best possible decisions about their future career destinations and the training and learning journey that takes them to it.  Kudos, our flagship career guidance software solution, has an HE module which will support students to understand the opportunities around progression to Higher Education and understand if this is the correct path for them.

With Kudos HE students can identify courses based on their potential careers, they can then use this information as a starting point to help them research information on their chosen university, plan open day visits, look at the how the universities rank and potentially, explore the beginning of a worthy career.

The cost of higher education in England is amongst the highest in the World. As a result, it is essential that students are able to make fully informed decisions and be clear about the potential outcomes before choosing to go to university.  They should also be able to assess the quality of the university across a number of different areas.

TEF clearly forms part of this process and will assist students to make better-informed decision-making process but is only a part of a bigger picture.

For more information on Kudos HE please click here

Or call CASCAID for more information on 01509 226868 or email

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