further & higher education

The Next Steps for the Teaching Excellence Framework

further & higher education

08:45 - 16:40

Thursday 31 January 2019

etc. Venues Manchester, Central Manchester

This Forum provides delegates with the opportunity to develop their understanding of the implications and implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Attendees will hear from leading policy figures on the future of the TEF, including the move to subject-level TEF. Through a combination of policy and best practice led sessions, delegates will discuss how teaching excellence will be measured in their institution and share best practice on demonstrating teaching excellence, enhancing student outcomes, improving the learning environment and increasing student satisfaction.


This Forum is specifically designed for the Higher Education Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Directors of Teaching and Learning
  • Directors of Education
  • Associate Deans
  • Associate Professors
  • Heads of School
  • Heads of Academic Development
  • Heads of Department and Faculties
  • Heads of Student Development
  • Pro-Vice Chancellors
  • Principal Teaching Fellows
  • Learning and Development Advisors
  • Senior Lecturers

This Forum is open to the Further Education and Private Sectors to encourage debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Senior Representative, Office for Students
  • Nona Mcduff OBE, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Kingston University and Member, TEF Panel
  • Professor Julia Clarke, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law), Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair, TEF Subject Panel – Business and Law
View the agenda and additional speakers

Amid recent revelations from the Student Academic Survey 2018 by The Higher Education Policy Institute and Higher Education Academy that 32% of students found their course poor value for money, alongside growing numbers of young people enrolling in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), the need for HEIs to demonstrate a high level of teaching excellence is increasing.

In June 2017, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced to assess the quality of teaching across participating HEIs, with ‘bronze’, ‘silver’ and ‘gold’ rankings awarded to universities. The first assessment results, published in the following month, demonstrated the potential of TEF to dramatically alter university league tables. Many top performing HEIs in other metrics found they had dropped significantly in the new rankings, whilst others, which may have typically occupied a lower ranking, received ‘gold’ awards for their teaching excellence.

Expanding on this, in autumn 2017 the next phase of TEF was implemented, which initiated a subject-level pilot TEF. 50 HEIs participated in the subject level TEF, trialling two alternative measurements of TEF in individual subjects. This is expected to be rolled out across the sector in the 2019/2020 academic year.

The shape of the second year of the STEF pilots was announced on 22 October 2018, in the  Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework: Subject-level pilot guide. This will include the introduction of grade inflation as an additional criteria against which HEIs are assessed. Initially trialled in the next year of STEF, this new criteria is intended to be implemented across all HEIs from Summer 2020, and will have the potential to affect an institution’s gold, silver or bronze rating. In addition to this, two new metrics were announced which would measure student voice and learning resources. This will be implemented in the STEF alongside a trial metric on differential attainment, which would take into consideration students’ awards against their background.

In November 2018, it was announced that an independent review of TEF would be carried out, led by Dame Shirley Pearce. This review would assess the process by which ratings were determined, the sources of statistical information, the names of the ratings and whether they were appropriate and the impact this has on the ability of HEIs to carry out their functions.

The landscape of higher education and how excellence across HEIs is measured is drastically changing. With claims of a ‘new elite’ emerging, following the rollout of TEF and REF, it is imperative that HEIs are prepared to meet the new requirements set out by TEF and can provide and effectively demonstrate high quality teaching, in order to maintain international recognition and enhance student outcomes.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Dr Andrew Gunn, Researcher in Higher Education Policy, University of Leeds (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Considering the Future of the Teaching Excellence Framework

  • Outlining the impact of year 2 of TEF on student choice and enhancement of institutional practices
  • Examining the conclusions of the first subject-level pilots and the design of the second pilot
  • Progress so far with the development of TEF metrics and the model for subject-level assessment
  • Outlining next steps for the move to subject level TEF including opportunities for institutions and students to engage with the  development of an effective TEF framework

Senior Representative, Office for Students (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Assessing Teaching Excellence - Insights from a TEF Panellist

  • Understanding the role of the TEF panel in measuring and assessing teaching excellence
  • Outlining the steps of the assessment process according to the TEF framework
  • Outlining how the panel measures criteria such as learning gain, student employability and student outcomes
  • Considering challenges the panel will need to overcome
  • Discussing the additional criteria of grade inflation against which all participating HEIs will be assessed from Summer 2020 and how this is being incorporated into subject-level pilots

Nona Mcduff OBE, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Kingston University and Member, TEF Panel (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Structured Task and Discussion: Understanding the Challenges in Achieving Teaching Excellence

  • This session will provide delegates with the opportunity to discuss challenges faced and share experiences of TEF to effectively prepare for their next TEF application
  • In small groups delegates will discuss challenges they have encountered in meeting the requirements set out by TEF
  • Discussion points can be shared with the wider room through the Slido app, for reference throughout the day, including to discuss further during networking breaks and in the afternoon discussion task
  • All discussion points and ideas shared will be collated and sent out to delegates after the event

Led by Dr Andrew Gunn, Researcher in Higher Education Policy, University of Leeds


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Evaluating Findings from a Subject-Level TEF

  • Examining the findings from the subject level pilot and the implications this will have for further assessment
  • Outlining the new kinds of metrics and targets the university will be working from as a result of the these findings
  • Understanding the conflicts created between different modes of measuring or calculating quality
  • Discussing the challenges encountered in implementing TEF at subject level and how HEIs can effectively overcome these

Jackie Labbe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic), De Montfort University (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Achieving Teaching Excellence by Enhancing Student Outcomes

  • Understanding how a strategic institutional commitment to providing students with expert careers guidance enables a university to put careers and employability at the heart of its TEF Gold application
  • Preparing students with the skills, dispositions, knowledge and experience to obtain high value employment in their chosen field
  • Considering how a significant investment in an expert Careers and Employability Service and increased work experience opportunities has contributed to a year-on-year increase in graduate-level employment
  • Reflecting on recent developments to articulate naturally occurring professional competencies within the curriculum, preparing students to develop a career through the fourth industrial revolution
  • Confirming the value of strong, meaningful partnerships between academics and careers professionals to support student success and fulfilment beyond their university experience

Dr Nalayini Thambar, Director of Careers and Employability, University of Nottingham and Quality Director, The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Implementing TEF at Subject-Level

Professor Julia Clarke, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law), Manchester Metropolitan University and Chair, TEF Subject Panel – Business and Law (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Raising Standards of TEF Excellence - From TEF Silver to TEF Gold

  • Outlining how the University of Hertfordshire improved from a silver TEF rating in 2017 to achieving the top gold rating in 2018
  • Developing effective partnerships with students to create new programmes, working groups and Academic Schools to ensure they have the skills required to succeed in business
  • Achieving the best employment rate in the East of England
  • Embedding employability and transferable skills into the curriculum with co-curricular awards, such as the ‘Go Herts Awards’, which can lead to additional qualifications
  • Creating an institutional culture which ensures that curricula is shaped by vocationally informed pedagogy
  • Ensuring students from all backgrounds consistently achieve excellent outcomes, above the benchmark, for example by providing ‘Preparing for University’ MOOCs to ease transition for students first in the family to attend university

Dr Sal Jarvis, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Student Experience, University of Hertfordshire (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Structured Task and Discussion: Overcoming Challenges to Achieve Teaching Excellence

  • This session will provide delegates with the opportunity to share best practice strategies to improve teaching and learning, and how to demonstrate these through TEF
  • In small groups delegates will share proven methods for meeting the requirements set out by TEF, and how to overcome the challenges outlined in the morning session
  • Discussion points can be shared with the wider room through the Slido app, for reference throughout the day, including to discuss further during networking breaks
  • All discussion points and ideas shared will be collated and sent out to delegates after the event

Led by Dr Andrew Gunn, Researcher in Higher Education Policy, University of Leeds


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Enhancing Student Satisfaction on the Journey to TEF Gold

  • Outlining the journey to achieving 4th place in the National Students Survey for student satisfaction
  • Achieving outstanding levels of student engagement by consistently consulting and engaging the student voice on all aspects of learning, including the development of the curriculum and co-producing the TEF submission
  • Enabling all students to create their own unique education experience through the distinctive ‘Keele Curriculum’, which blends academic and extra-curricular activities, to enhance learning gain and increase student satisfaction
  • Providing an exceptional learning environment through investing in innovative resources and learning spaces, such as a Crime Scene Investigation House and a 3D Teaching Cinema
  • Outlining the importance of high levels of student satisfaction in enhancing teaching excellence and achieving TEF Gold

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Keele University (CONFIRMED)

Keele University was awarded University of the Year for Student Experience by the Times Good University Guide


Case Study: Placing Student Needs at the Heart of the TEF Process

  • Understanding and addressing the concerns of students regarding the TEF
  • Addressing morale for subjects rated bronze, the exclusion of postgraduate courses and the risk of universities failing to address negative feedback
  • Considering the role of student representatives on the panels that oversee TEF submissions and how this engages students to help shape a framework that meets student needs
  • Discussing how rising tuition fees for universities rated gold can discourage disadvantaged students from enrolling
  • Highlighting how universities can work together with student’s unions to address student concerns about the implementation of TEF
  • Considering the introduction of ‘student voice’ into the STEF pilot: How universities can ensure that the student voice is effectively represented and responded to

Matt Johnston, Vice President Postgraduate, Northumbria Students Union (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

You May Also Like