The government white paper and the Teaching Excellence Framework

A new Green Paper on HE has been published by the government which proposes a new measuring stick for the quality of teaching within HE – The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Reaction to the teaching excellence framework has been mixed. It is refreshing to see that high quality teaching in HE being recognised, not just research – and one can only hope that this legislation will only push up teaching standards in universities. Well that is the intention anyway. It will also provide yet another metric for prospective students (and parents) to use when they are making their decision where to study.

However, many fear that the TEF will contribute to ongoing marketisation of HE (see this article from the independent and Times Higher Ed.). It has been muted that institutions that perform well in the TEF will be incentivised with financial rewards by being able to operate in a higher fee bracket. This blog post by Wonkhe summarise how this will work.

Some academics are also questioning what constitutes ‘teaching excellence’. The proposal uses metrics including NSS scores, DLHE data, retention rates and teacher contact time to determine a universities attainment level. Numerous discussions with colleagues on the PGCHE have revealed an aversion to these qualitative metrics, and that they don;t tell the whole story – what about some qualitative data instead?!




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