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Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2018 results: who are the upwards movers and how did they do it?

How have universities performed in this year’s TEF results?

For some universities, reapplying to the framework this year has paid off as they have seen an improvement in their rating. But how have they managed to do it?

Durham University achieved gold this year, following their silver rating in 2017. “The TEF Panel praised the University for the excellent rates of progression to highly skilled employment or further study for full-time students, and the University’s research-led education, which provides students with the skills which are most valued by employers. The institutional culture at Durham, which rigorously monitors and rewards excellence in teaching, was also highly commended by the Panel.”

 “Durham University has some of the most favourable graduate employment statistics in the sector: 94 per cent of Durham students are in employment after six months, and 83 per cent are in highly-skilled employment.” The University was recently named as one of the top ten universities from which employers seek to recruit in the Graduate Market 2018. [Source: Durham University, 2018]

University of Hertfordshire has also improved their ratings and have struck gold for 2018 – “This award recognises the students’ excellent progression rates to employment and that students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes. At the University, partnership with students is core to everything they do.  Students and alumni work with the University in the creation of new programmes and are active in working groups and work alongside  staff in Academic Schools to discuss ideas and develop new initiatives. This partnership approach ensures students develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to succeed in business and the professions and has led to the University having the best graduate employment rate in the East of England for the last two years.”  [Source: University of Hertfordshire, 2018]

Some universities have continued to maintain their rating from last year’s awards, with the University of Warwick and Soas, University of London both maintaining their bronze ratings.

Harper Adams University have been successful in maintaining the highest rating of gold, one of only two universities to do so. Some of the areas which stood out include providing a strategic approach to ensure that students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes and a strong emphasis on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment with particular focus on the development of the employability of students.

“The university has maintained high academic standards for qualifications whilst also providing an outstanding student experience and some of the best employment outcomes for graduates in the university system. This outcome shows that smaller specialist universities have a key role to play in delivering diverse and vibrant higher education that is of benefit to students and vital to important sectors in the national economy.” [Source: Harper Adams University, 2018]

The overall ratings for 2018 have seen 23% of universities achieve gold, 50% silver and 27% bronze.

What does achieving TEF mean to universities?

So what are the benefits of ranking in the framework for universities? As the results are used as a means by students to consider which universities provide the best student satisfaction and graduate prospects, institutions are likely to attract top talent. As TEF is a ‘government-stamped’ resource, students may perceive this to be an important factor when choosing a university.

Chris Husbands, chair of the TEF, states “The TEF is shaping thinking about teaching and focusing on outcomes for students in a way that I think is really healthy”.

As one of the key metrics which universities are assessed against is based on progression into employment, it is important that universities have good links with employers of all sizes, locally, nationally and overseas, to ensure they can evidence strong graduate outcomes.

At Exemplas, we collaborate with careers services to complement and enhance existing services, equipping your students with the confidence and skills they need for their future career. With support ranging from securing student placements and reporting on graduate outcomes, our services are tailored to the needs of individual universities. Find out more about how we support the employability of students.

Congratulations to the universities who have ranked in this year’s TEF.  Click here to view the full results.