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The Department for Education (DfE) is inviting responses to a technical consultation to inform the development of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) at subject level (Note 1). It is keen to hear from higher education providers, students, employers and others with an interest in learning, teaching and student information. The consultation will close on 21 May 2018.

The TEF aims to shine a spotlight on teaching and give prospective university students clear, easy-to-understand information about where excellent teaching and student outcomes can be found. In doing so, it builds on the rigorous quality assessment systems operating throughout the UK.

The consultation runs alongside the TEF Year Three Subject Pilot, which is being conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of DfE (Note 2). The pilot is testing two models for generating subject and provider level ratings. Providing information at individual subject level as well as provider level will equip prospective students with more detailed, granular information about where and what to study.

The pilot aims to ensure that the future design of subject-level TEF encompasses the full variety of higher education provision across the UK. A diverse range of 50 further education colleges, universities and other types of provider are taking part.

The pilot assessment will be carried out by independent panels of over 130 experts selected for their standing in the sector and commitment to excellence in teaching. They include student representatives, academics, widening participation and employment experts, and representatives from employers and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

The ratings from the pilot will not be published, but HEFCE is making relevant metrics and other information available to providers to assist them in responding to the consultation (Note 3).

HEFCE welcomes the consultation as an opportunity for the whole sector to help inform the development of subject-level TEF, alongside those taking part in the pilot.


  1. Read the consultation document:
  2. Responsibility for TEF implementation and the Year Three Subject Pilot will pass to the Office for Students from 1 April 2018:
  3. Year Three Subject Pilot resources can be accessed on the HEFCE website: