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TEF Silver for the University

TEF Silver

The University of Reading has been awarded Silver in the national trial of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The award is for delivering high quality teaching and learning coupled with excellent outcomes for our students, and for consistently exceeding the rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education. This award is valid for up to three years.

The TEF Panel was particularly complimentary of our work to support students to achieve excellent outcomes. “Very high proportions continue with their studies and progress to employment or further study, and to highly skilled employment,” the Panel notes in its statement of findings.

The TEF Panel judgement also highlights evidence of:

  • a consistent approach to facilitating student progression through employability initiatives highly valued by employers
  • high levels of retention and of personalised learning, which secures strong engagement and commitment from students
  • an established institutional culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching through processes of promotion and annual review criteria
  • high-quality physical and digital resources, with effective integration of student support services with academic provision
  • consistent engagement of students with developments from the forefront of research, scholarship and practice

Gavin Brooks, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning), said: “The University’s TEF Silver award is testament to the commitment and expertise of our highly professional and talented staff who teach, inspire and support our students throughout their learning experience here at Reading. 

“It reflects the significant investment and enhancement we have made in the last three years to strengthen the quality of our teaching and our student experience, and in creating the positive learning environment that helps all our students to achieve their best. I am particularly pleased to see that the work we have done over this period to support staff development, recognition and reward has been highlighted by the Panel”.

Further investment will be made in the development of innovative teaching practices through our ring-fenced Teaching & Learning Development Fund. And we will maintain our focus on developing robust assessment practices and providing effective feedback, supported by our major investment in the Electronic Management of Assessment to provide our students and staff with a more consistent and high-quality assessment experience.

Detailed information on awards for each of the 299 participating institutions – including the duration of the award, the statement of findings from the TEF Panel, the provider submission and links to their access and participation statements – is available on the HEFCE website.

Teaching Excellence Framework

This TEF exercise was the first national assessment of teaching quality in higher education; it assessed the 299 participating institutions for teaching excellence in three key areas:

  • Teaching quality: teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies.
  • Learning environment: the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.
  • Student outcomes: the extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

TEF awards are decided by an independent panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives. Universities and colleges are assessed against a set of measures which use national data and evidence submitted by the university or college.

The metrics measure student satisfaction, retention, and progression to employment. The metrics take account of differences in student characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied. This allowed assessors to judge teaching excellence and outcomes for students taught in each university or college.

The Government has indicated in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 that an independent review of the TEF will take place by the end of 2019. This will report to Parliament, with the Secretary of State instructing the Office for Students to implement any recommendations arising from the review. 

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