The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is the government’s new rating system for universities’ teaching quality. As per the guidance for institutions published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Government has introduced the TEF as a way of:
- better informing students' choices about what and where to study
- raising esteem for teaching
- recognising and rewarding excellent teaching
- better meeting the needs of employers, business, industry and the professions
A national trial of the TEF has taken place in 2017, and the outcomes of this trial are expected to be published in the summer of 2017.
TEF and the University of Reading
The University of Reading:
- agrees with the TEF's ambition and continues to work with the government to make it as strong and robust as possible
- has submitted its application to the TEF as part of the national trial in 2017. We are one of 299 higher education institutions taking part
- will make decisions on entering future TEF exercises from 2018 onwards following a detailed evaluation and lessons learned review of the trial and the Government's proposed independent review of the TEF
How is the TEF assessed?
A team of expert assessors will determine an overall judgement of quality (Gold, Silver or Bronze) on the basis of an assessment of:
- performance on core metrics (National Student Survey, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey, Higher Education Statistics Agency non-continuation data)
- performance on these metrics with reference to different student groups, e.g. disability, sex, ethnicity
- the narrative provider submission which includes additional evidence to support the application
For more information see the government's TEF Year Two trial specification.
Further useful information about the metrics, phased approach and timeline for the TEF is also available on the HEFCE website.
What is the link between the TEF and tuition fees?
The government had previously announced an intention to allow institutions to increase tuition fees in line with inflation depending on their TEF rating. In April 2017 the Higher Education and Research Act postponed these plans, pending an independent review of the TEF national trial. The government is expected to allow tuition fees to rise annually in line with inflation until 2020/21 for institutions participating in the TEF and who meet minimum requirements. Whether tuition fees are then linked to TEF ratings will depend on the outcome of the independent review and subsequent government decisions.
For the latest information about undergraduate UK/EU tuition fees at the University of Reading see our fees update for home and EU students.
Last updated: 19 June 2017