Matt Adie ‘confident’ university won’t employ TEF system

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The new rating system for universities across Britain will not be implemented at Stirling according to VP Education, Matt Adie.

Credit: University Guides


The teaching excellence framework (TEF) is a system that assesses the quality of teaching in universities in England. It also includes some universities from Scotland and Wales.

Speaking last night at the Education Zone Meeting for class reps and faculty officers, Adie was questioned by a student on whether or not this system would be utilised by the university this year or whether they would “boycott” it again.

Adie said that he was confident the university would not put this system in place as they don’t “want to be judged by a spreadsheet” and “preferred talking to each other and students” in order to gauge where improvements need to be made.

The framework was introduced by the government to provide a resource for students to judge teaching quality in universities and to increase the importance of teaching excellence (and bring it into line with research excellence) when rating institutions. Currently the TEF analyses only undergraduate teaching.

Universities are classified gold, silver or bronze. These ratings are determined by six core metrics based on teaching, academic support and progression to employment. Universities also submitted a 15-page document to a panel of higher education experts and students, which was used alongside the metrics to determine a rating.

A total of 295 universities, colleges and alternative providers of higher education volunteered to take part in the first year of the framework. Of the 134 universities and specialist higher education institutions that were given ratings; 32% (43) scored gold, 50% (67) silver and 18% (24) got bronze.

The five Scottish universities who participated – Dundee, Robert Gordon, St Andrews, Heriot Watt and Abertay – all performed well with the latter two receiving silver awards and the former three receiving gold standard awards.

Prestigious institutions such as London School of Economics, Southampton and the University of London all received the lowest bronze award. Oxford and Cambridge both got gold, as did Nottingham, Newcastle, Leeds, Imperial College, Birmingham and Exeter.

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