What is the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)?

Teaching Excellence Framework

The teaching excellence framework is a government scheme to measure and sustain the quality of teaching at Higher Education Institutions in the United Kingdom. The teaching excellence framework will see universities being rated depending on the level of teaching quality offered. The ratings will classify qualifying universities as Bronze, Silver or Gold, and those that qualify will be allowed to increase their fees in line with the inflation rate, up to a certain fee cap.

How is the TEF Assessed?

The TEF assesses universities based on three different criteria; Teaching quality, the learning environment and students’ outcomes and learning gains. The National Students Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey are partly used for this assessment.

As well as the university being assessed through various student surveys, institutions are also required to submit a 15 page Provider submission. This is designed for the university to demonstrate and showcase the impact of their teaching initiatives within the university.

When is the TEF happening?

The TEF has been in discussion since May 2016, and the results of the TEF were confirmed to the participating universities on the 12th June 2017. The results of the TEF can be viewed here.

The TEF results will be in play for students applying to study in the academic year 2018/19. However, some universities such as the University of Manchester have announced that they will be increasing their fees for students starting their courses in September 2017. You are advised to contact the institution you wish to study at for an accurate representation of course fees.

Which universities have the TEF?

Almost all universities and higher education colleges will be part of the teaching excellence framework; however some institutions have boycotted the TEF and decided to opt out, as the TEF is completely voluntary, whilst some universities may not meet the qualifying criteria for a TEF. To find out if your chosen university is part of the teaching excellence framework, you are advised to visit their website or contact a member of staff at the institution.

For a complete list of universities in the UK, visit our institutions page.

How will the TEF affect me?

If you’re looking to start an undergraduate university course in September 2018, then the TEF will affect you. If you choose to study at a Bronze university, then the fees can be increased by 50% of the inflation rate. If you choose to study at a Silver or Gold university, then the fees can be increased by 100% of the inflation rate. To find out more accurate tuition fee prices for your chosen university, please visit their website.

If you choose to study at a university that is raising its fees due to the TEF you won’t need to worry about paying any extra course fees from your own back pocket, as tuition fee loans will also be increased in line with inflation.

Find out more about student loans here.

The teaching excellence framework is poised to become an important indicator of teaching quality for future university applicants, and may have a big impact on tuition fees from university to university. At this early stage, TEF can be used as a helpful metric when choosing your university, but make sure you consider as many factors as possible when deciding what and where to study.