Top UK universities fail to reach TEF targets

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29th June 2017 12:02 - Education

Top UK universities fail to reach TEF targets: Recent TEF report has revealed that consistently top-rated universities have failed to reach their targets, despite their previous success.

Described by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, (HEFCE), the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is: “a new scheme for recognising excellent teaching, in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges and other higher education providers”.

Each university is awarded either a gold, silver or bronze award, based upon their “excellence in teaching, learning environment and student outcomes”, consequently giving both universities and students the opportunity to analyse the institution to their own accord. 

With the likes of Oxbridge still achieving gold, some of London’s most accredited universities fell behind, with London School of Economics & Political Science achieving a bronze award and King’s College London attaining silver. Top UK universities fail to reach TEF targets

Russell Group universities, Warwick, York, Cardiff and Durham, are also amongst those that have attained a silver award, despite remaining in the top 20 university league table.  

With only one third of Russell Group universities claiming the gold title; regardless of their position in the league tables, universities such as: Liverpool Hope, Plymouth, Derby and De Montfort University have been noticed as the most elite in the country.   

With two thirds of Russell Group universities failing to attain this statusand with less distinguished universities proving to be the most elite, students now face the difficulty of finding which university is best suited for them.

Despite the wide variety of aspects that students take into consideration when choosing a university, the annual HEPI/HEA Student Academic Experience Survey reveals that the decision is ultimately made upon their value for money.

Value for money can accommodate any of the following factors: the quality of teaching, course pass rates, the details of the course, up-to-date/necessary equipment, employment opportunities, the ability to network with professionals in their chosen industry; the list is endless; however, this is a complex decision-making process.

Regardless of the university’s rank or awards, other factors that influence students can also relate to personal and social matters. Whether this is with regards to transport links, geographical location or even the size of the university itself, it can be argued that the status or rank of the university does not necessarily mean they have won a student over; each student will match the university to their needs. Nonetheless, the more the university can offer, (personally, socially, geographically and academically), the more likely the student will attend that university.

Despite top universities failing to reach their TEF targets and including the fact that less distinguishable universities are becoming more noticed, it can be argued that this latest survey has given a more accurate reading of UK university ratings. Conclusively, the amended catalogue of universities has not only given smaller universities the limelight they deserve, but also students the opportunity to diversify their university choices.

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