Brighton and Sussex have been ranked silver according to Teaching Excellence Framework

The TEF ranks universities based on the quality of the education service they provide

It has been revealed today, that Sussex and Brighton university have been ranked silver according to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The two universities have received the silver award, meaning that they deliver “high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.”

In addition to the gold, silver, and bronze awards, participants could also apply for a ‘provisional’ award should there not be enough evidence to finalise an award.

Students of Sussex and Brighton may have been familiar with the ‘Boycott the NSS’ campaigns run by student unions across the country. It was revealed that at the NUS conference, that the National Student Survey (NSS) could be used to justify the TEF through student satisfaction.

The NUS commented:

“The government is creating a forced market of institutions charging higher different prices for degrees”.

The Sussex Students’ Union and the university butted heads over the NSS when the university campaigned and offered incentives for students to fill out the NSS. 

Participation in the TEF is voluntary, however 295 higher education institutions took part. Of these, universities, colleges, and alternative providers were included in the 295 total.

In the assessment, 59 providers were rated gold, 116 were rated silver and 56 were rated bronze.

Excluding those with provisional ratings, a gold award was achieved by 26 per cent of participants, silver by 50 per cent and bronze by 24 per cent.

Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, and brother to Boris Johnson said:

“These results, highlighting the extraordinary strengths of our higher education system, will help students choose which university or college to study at.

“The Teaching Excellence Framework is refocusing the sector’s attention on teaching – putting in place incentives that will raise standards across the sector and giving teaching the same status as research.

“Students, parents, employers and taxpayers all have a shared interest in ensuring that higher education equips the next generation of graduates for success.”

The first scheme of its kind, the TEF results are decided on a combination of an independent panel of experts that includes 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 TEF focuses on three key areas to determine the result:

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.

Once the assessment has been collated, universities are then awarded a gold, silver, or bronze ranking in which the government has confirmed would give a mandate for universities to change their tuition fees accordingly.

The award is valid for three years. After that time, the institution can opt to be assessed again.