The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is changing the Higher Education landscape by incentivising excellence in teaching and from September 2017 helping students choose where to study. The framework announced in the government’s higher education white paper “Success as a knowledge economy: Teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice” is now entering its second year. The details of how it will operate have already been published and with it, the first controversies have arisen. Ratings of gold, silver and bronze announced in May 2017 will rank, for the first time, English universities teaching standards. Experts in teaching and learning as well as student representatives, employer representatives and widening participation experts, will be carrying out those ratings by looking at core metrics such as student satisfaction, non-continuation rates and employment data.
The aim of this assessment is to provide students applying for university in autumn 2017 with a clearer picture of where they are likely to receive the best teaching and obtain the best career outcomes. The majority of English universities have opted in to be assessed by the Department for Education’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). However, some of the decisions not to participate, such as Open University’s, highlight the complexity of developing a single assessment system that can fairly represent the full diversity of the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and teaching methods.
Challenges in the design of a comparative assessment framework for something as complex and diverse as the teaching and learning sector, were certain. Some institutions have argued that the core metrics can only be interpreted as vague proxies for teaching excellence and institutions should present their own evidence of their teaching and learning excellence. In addition, student representatives such as the National Union of Students are opposed to higher tuition fees in relation to assessment scores.
At Teaching Excellence Framework: Quality, Accessibility and Student Choice, you will have the opportunity to discover and debate how the year 2 reform will impact on the higher education landscape. Join us for the opportunity to hear from higher education providers, representative bodies and students; and learn from the best practices of institutions leading the rankings on student satisfaction, completion rates and employment opportunities.
In May 2016, with the intent to boost the global reputation for excellence in the UK higher education sector, the Government launched its White Paper, “Success as a knowledge economy: Teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice”. Among its proposals, the implementation of a Teaching Excellence Framework was aimed at raising teaching standards, provide a greater focus on graduate employability, widen participation in higher education and open up the sector to new high-quality entrants.
Now in its second year, the TEF has the potential to build on the existing high standards of education providers, focusing on those with variable quality to improve. The TEF also aims to drive UK productivity by ensuring a better match of graduate skills. Securing better outcomes for all students, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, is one of its priorities.
The recent responses to the Teaching Excellence Framework: year 2 – technical consultation have demonstrated strong overall support. The majority of English Universities have shown their agreement for a new assessment framework as part of government plans to raise teaching standards. However, education providers have also identified a number suggestions as to how the framework could be further improved for it implementation, which have been incorporated into the final specification. For example, there will now be an appeals process, as well as better protections to ensure universities who take large numbers of socially disadvantaged students are assessed fairly.
TEF will assess higher education institutions against criteria including student satisfaction, drop-out rates and progression to highly skilled employment. The ratings (gold, silver or bronze) would allow universities that score highly to potentially raise their tuition fees and this has been met with discontent. The NUS is opposed to further fee rises and they have expressed their concerns in an open letter to university vice chancellors. Rising student expectations of the university experience and value for money could make learner satisfaction a key consideration when students choose where to study. Completion rates, the proportion of students who complete their desired degree qualification, could determine a student’s overall trust on the higher education institution. Graduate employability is another key characteristic of the assessment and of the government ambitions to align high standards of education with successful careers. As the Higher Education (HE) marketplace develops, and the world of graduate employment becomes more competitive, it is vital for all providers to focus on these assessment aspects, such as the value of graduate employment, earnings and the satisfaction of graduates with their careers.
Join us at Teaching Excellence Framework: Quality, Accessibility and Student Choice to learn about the very latest initiatives across current higher education policy; hear from universities leading the predicted lists of the UK government’s teaching excellence framework (TEF) assessment; and discover and debate the reforms that the second trial year will implement on the higher education landscape.
Delegates and sponsors have the first opportunity to network in the Network Surgery. Hot drinks, pastries and fruit will be provided.
The TEF Assessment Panel, gather a number experts in teaching and learning as well as student representatives, employer representatives and widening participation experts. They will award each higher education provider a clearly understandable rating of ‘Outstanding’, ‘Excellent’ or ‘Meets Expectations’, based on outcomes such as student satisfaction, retention rates and employment data.
The presentation will cover research that looks at students’ learning gains derived from assessment data and outline suitability, benefits and limitations of using this approach as a measure of HE quality within TEF.
The introduction of the TEF would allow universities that score highly to raise their tuition fees from £9,000 to over £10,000 by 2020, with fees continuing to rise each year with inflation. NUS is opposed to further fee rises and believe measuring teaching quality is an extremely complicated task. NUS and 59 students’ unions have expressed their concerns over the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework in an open letter to vice chancellors.
According to the Complete University Guide (CUG) Buckingham University, Surrey and Keele have been named best in the UK for student satisfaction. This year the TEF will use the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) as part of an aggregate rating (gold, silver or bronze) that would allow universities that score highly to raise their tuition fees. Times Higher Education has created ranking of the TEF results based on student satisfaction where Keele University leads it.
During the session, Electric Paper will investigate innovative technology such as MBE Module Benchmarking and the use of NSS style questions at module level as well as discuss ways of supporting HE Institutions in fulfilling the TEF requirements.
Going to university changes your life, so we tell students, but what happens if it doesn’t work out? Research in the UK shows that, unlike in the US, dropping out puts you in a worse position than if you had never been to university. What does this mean for widening access and teaching quality?
Graduate employment is another characteristic or what universities will be assessed. In absolute terms, the prestigious Russell Group universities, are some of the best universities for graduate employment. But when the data are benchmarked for contextual factors such as student demographics, entry qualifications and degree subjects studied at the university, it turns out that a very different group of universities is actually exceeding expectations when it comes to graduate employability.
In total 134 higher education institutions have applicated for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), plus 94 FE colleges and 6 alternative providers, with a further 65 FE and alternative providers opting in for provisional awards on the basis of having a shorter data history. Although participation among English universities was nearly 100%, some of the decisions not to participate ,such as The Open University, highlight the complexity of developing a single assessment system that can fairly represent the full diversity of the UK sector.
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Construction of The Bridgewater Hall commenced on 22 March 1993, but the idea of a new concert hall for Manchester dates back to the reconstruction of the Free Trade Hall in the 1950s after wartime bomb damage. The Free Trade Hall was home to the city’s famous Hallé orchestra and also hosted rock and pop concerts. However, despite holding great public affection, the 1850s Free Trade Hall was ill-equipped to respond to the rising standards of service and acoustic excellence demanded by performers and audiences.