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Teaching Excellence Framework

What is the TEF?

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What is the TEF?

The Teaching Excellence & Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) assesses the quality of teaching at Higher Education providers in England, including how well they help students into graduate-level employment or further study.

The TEF gives a rating for higher education institutions in England  at 'Provider-level' as well as for each subject taught at undergraduate level.

These ratings are determined by an independent panel of students, academics and other experts, overseen by the Office for Students (OfS).

Why is the TEF important?

By measuring the things that are important to students and to King's, the TEF:

  • Helps students choose which course and university is best for them
  • Encourages greater focus on teaching and employment outcomes
  • Recognises excellent teaching in the higher education sector
  • Matches graduates' skills with the needs of employers and the economy
What do the ratings mean?

TEF Gold: Delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for students.  It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

TEF Silver: Delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.  It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

TEF Bronze: Delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

How is the TEF measured?

There are three assessment criteria in the TEF:

Higher Education providers are assessed against these criteria through a number of nationally collected core data metrics to measure the performance of providers. These are based on:

  • Scores from the National Student Survey (NSS)
  • Progression from year one to year two of programmes of study

  • Information from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey which records how many students gain graduate-level jobs or go onto further study

This is alongside a written narrative that:

  • Outlines the ethos of teaching and learning

  • Contextualises the assessment criteria

  • Describes what the 'Provider' or 'Subject' is doing to engage with and improve the student experience and support students into work or further study

For institutions, this consists of a 15 page Provider-level Submission and a five page Subject-level submission for each subject taught at undergraduate level.

How are submissions assessed?

Each institution’s TEF submission is looked at by Assessors and TEF Panel members (appointed by the Department of Education). The assessment process is in three stages:

 1) Provider applications are allocated to Assessors, who assess it independently. Each application will be read by at least two academic assessors and student assessor, of which one will be a Panel member.

2) Panel members and Assessors will join together for a week to assess TEF applications. The individual three Assessors will jointly seek to agree to a rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold, or identify the case as borderline. Groups of nine will then consider applications and make recommendations to the TEF panel.

3) The TEF Panel will collectively make the final decision of a TEF rating of Bronze, Silver or Gold and provide an accompanying statement for each application.

Stage 1: detailed assessment of each case by three members of the relevant panel Stage 2: discussion by a larger group of panel members, to form a recommendation to the whole panel Stage 3: consideration of all recommendations and final decisions by the panel as a whole, with particular attention given to borderline or more challenging cases.

TEF at King's

King's College London has a TEF rating of Silver You can read the King’s Provider Submission here.

In 2018 we participated in the OfS TEF pilot to further our experience of the TEF and our capability to respond to it as well as to help influence its future shape.

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