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Teaching Excellence Framework and future tuition fees

University of Reading

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is the government's new rating system for universities' teaching quality, proposed in the Higher Education white paper, Success As A Knowledge Economy.

Ministers have proposed the TEF to give clearer information to undergraduates about universities with the best teaching provision. It is intended to:

  • ensure excellent teaching for all students by making universities more accountable for their teaching quality
  • incentivise widening access investment by recognising institutions who recruit and retain students from a range of backgrounds
  • provide students with comparable information about the quality of teaching to help them make informed choices
  • give universities an incentive to improve teaching quality by linking it to the ability to raise tuition fees in line with inflation.

From 2017/18 onwards, ministers have proposed allowing institutions which meet the eligibility criteria for a TEF rating in Year One to raise their maximum tuition fee cap in line with inflation.

The University of Reading will:

  • take part in the voluntary TEF Year Two trial in 2017
  • make decisions on entering future TEF exercises from 2018 onwards following the government's own detailed evaluation and lessons learned review of the trial
  • make decisions on undergraduate tuition fee levels from 2018/19 onwards, following a careful assessment of the new system's strengths and weaknesses.

In September 2016, the government published details how the TEF trial will be operated.

The assessment will be based on data relating to student satisfaction, retention rates and employment, informed by additional contextual data and evidence submitted by institutions. Panel assessment will be undertaken by teaching and learning experts; student and employer representatives; and widening participation specialists.

The results of the TEF Year Two trial are expected to be published in May 2017, with the lessons learned exercise completed by autumn 2017.

For more information on undergraduate tuition fees, see our fees update for undergraduate home/EU students (2017/18 entry) and our TEF frequently asked questions.


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