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About the TEF

The UK has a world-class higher education sector, with rigorous systems in place to ensure high quality teaching. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a new 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 is voluntary and each higher education provider decides whether or not they wish to take part.

The TEF was developed by the Department for Education 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.

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 introduced the TEF in 2016 as a trial year, from which lessons will be learned for future years. The results were published in June 2017. Providers are able to appeal their award and any resulting changes will be made in August 2017.

Participating higher education providers and their TEF awards are listed here.

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 21 June 2017