Higher education providers awarded gold medals for teaching excellence

22 June 2017 -


CMI calls on awards to be a springboard for building a productive workforce and closing the skills gap

Matt Scott

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has awarded gold awards to over a quarter of the 295 universities, colleges and alternative providers of higher education that voluntarily took part in the TEF.

A total of 59 providers (26%) were rated gold, while 116 (50%) received a silver award and 56 (24%) bronze.

TEF was introduced by the Government to build evidence about the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector, and the awards were decided by an independent panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives.

Drawing on national data, and evidence submitted by each university or college, the TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, the learning environment and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

Universities Minister Jo Johnson, said: “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.”

CMI director of higher education partnerships Ian Myson said that the awards were vital for reducing the skills shortage dogging the British economy, and reiterated the importance of apprenticeships for building a professional and productive workforce.

“The first set of TEF results signal a watershed moment for the Higher Education sector,” he said. “The UK’s long-standing skills shortage and productivity crisis is well-documented – now more than ever, business, professional bodies, and the Higher Education sector need to work together to improve the employability prospects of graduates.

“The introduction of new degree level apprenticeships, for example, are helping equip students with the necessary qualifications and experience needed to excel in the rapidly changing world of work. The TEF’s medal ranking system will also help businesses recruit the highly-skilled workforces they need – something which is vital if the economy is to prosper post-Brexit.”

CMI director of strategy Petra Wilton added: “Today’s Teaching Excellence results signal the importance of higher-level skills to boosting UK’s competitiveness, and the Government’s commitment to driving up excellence in student outcomes. The new awards show how responsibility for developing these higher-level skills is now increasingly spread across the education sector, with the highest gold ratings for teaching excellence being achieved across universities, further education colleges and private providers.

“It is clear that those providers who are excelling are putting student experience and their employability outcomes at the forefront. As such, it is no coincidence that may of those providers achieving the Gold Award are also early adopters of the new degree apprenticeships, which blend degrees, with the work-based learning of an apprenticeship and professional qualifications.”

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