Frequently Asked Questions
Which higher education providers have TEF awards?
Higher education providers decide whether or not to take part in the TEF. Participating providers and their TEF awards are listed here: www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/teaching/tef-outcomes.
What do the gold, silver and bronze awards mean?
A provider taking part in the TEF is awarded:
- gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK
- silver for delivering high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education
- bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
What do provisional awards mean?
The higher education provider meets rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education, and is taking part in the TEF, but does not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed. The provider may be fully assessed in future when it has sufficient data.
How are the TEF awards decided?
The awards are decided by an independent TEF Panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives. See www.hefce.ac.uk/lt/tef/panel/.
The provider’s undergraduate teaching is assessed against ten criteria that cover the areas of teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes.
The TEF Panel considers evidence from a set of metrics using national data as well as written evidence submitted by the provider. The metrics cover continuation rates, student satisfaction and employment outcomes. The metrics for each provider are benchmarked to take account of differences in its students’ characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied.
View the metrics and provider submissions at www.hefce.ac.uk/tefoutcomes.
Is there more information about a provider’s TEF award?
A short statement by the TEF Panel explains each provider’s award. Read the statements at www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/teaching/tef-outcomes.
What if a higher education provider doesn’t have a TEF award?
All higher education providers in the UK must meet rigorous national quality requirements for higher education. The TEF measures excellence in addition to these requirements and is voluntary. If a provider has no TEF award it may have decided not to take part. You can find out more about the national quality requirements here:
- The approach to quality assessment in England
- The Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework
- The Quality Assessment Framework for Wales
- The approach to quality assessment in Northern Ireland.
To be eligible to take part a provider must meet national quality requirements and teach at undergraduate level.
How does the TEF affect tuition fees?
Universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award can increase their tuition fees in line with inflation, for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students. Tuition fee loans will also increase with inflation.
Universities and colleges in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to take part in the TEF, with no direct impact on their tuition fees.