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TEF Year Three procedural guidance

Read the guidance

TEF for participants

The UK has a world-class higher education sector, with rigorous systems in place to ensure high quality teaching.

The TEF (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework) is a scheme for recognising excellent teaching, in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.

The TEF was developed by the Department for Education (DfE) in England. While higher education policy is a devolved matter, individual providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also able to take part if they wish to.

In July 2016 the DfE published a list of providers eligible for TEF Year One.

The DfE commissioned HEFCE to implement TEF Year Two, during 2016-17. The Government introduced this first year of TEF assessments as a trial year, from which lessons were learned for future years.

HEFCE published the outcomes of TEF Year Two in June 2017. A provider’s TEF outcome may change subsequently. An update is available here. The TEF Year Three process begins in autumn 2017. At the same time, HEFCE is running a subject pilot of the TEF to inform future development of the framework.

The TEF is voluntary and each higher education provider decides whether or not they wish to take part.

Participating higher education providers receive a gold, silver or bronze award reflecting the excellence of their teaching, learning environment and student outcomes. The awards cover undergraduate teaching.

The Government has previously indicated that universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award will be able to increase their tuition fees in line with inflation. The Department for Education will confirm the 2018-19 fee caps in due course.

Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to take part in the TEF, with no direct impact on their tuition fees.

Page last updated 31 October 2017