The proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for UK Universities

Book chapter


Berger, D. and Wild, Charles 2016. The proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for UK Universities. in: Rotschedl, Jiri and Cermakova, Klara (ed.) Proceedings of the 22nd International Academic Conference Prague, Czech Republic International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences (IISES). pp. 311
AuthorsBerger, D. and Wild, Charles
EditorsRotschedl, Jiri and Cermakova, Klara
Abstract

The role of universities within society has been the subject of constant discussion and
conjecture amongst politicians, the public, as well as within the Higher Education (HE)
sector itself. However, this issue has come ever more to the forefront of people’s
minds in recent times due to the comprehensive spending review (CSR), related
concerns regarding student fees and public debt, and governmental demands for the
increased accountability of Universities in terms of student satisfaction and perceived
‘value for money’.
The Research Excellence Framework (REF), which replaced the Research
Assessment Exercise (RAE), is accepted as a reasonably effective means by which
universities, and their researchers, may be assessed periodically and subsequently
allocated Quality Research (QR) funding in recognition, as well as to reinforce,
research excellence in the HE sector. However, the results of any exercise will be
interpreted in a number of ways and, inevitably, has led to claims that the ‘teaching’
function of universities has become the poor relation to the sector's research agenda.
There have been a number of initiatives which have sought to address this perceived
imbalance, and to regulate, monitor or even promote the educational function of
universities. Amongst these have been Teaching Quality Assessments, Centres of
Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs), and the most recent initiative in the
form of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). In many respects, it is hard to
challenge the principle that universities should be assessed in the same way for their
teaching function as they are for their research activities and outputs. Indeed, the
incorporation of 'impact' into the REF offers a seductive promise of similar connections
that may be made with teaching in the form of progression, achievement and
employability statistics. After all, this is the era of analytics and Big Data, why
shouldn't it be used as part of a new system if it is readily available across the HE
sector? The authors don't, in principle, disagree with this direction of travel. However,
as with any new initiative, time and thought should not only be given to the precise
objective of this exercise, but also to the potential pitfalls that may result from making
a less than perfect choice. In this respect, the consultation surrounding the current
green paper '...' may be likened to the following passage from Lewis Carrol’s ‘Alice’s
Adventures in Wonderland: "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from
here?"

KeywordsTeaching Excellence Framework; Thresholds of Quality; Learning and Teaching; Teaching Quality; Educational Gain
Book titleProceedings of the 22nd International Academic Conference
Page range311
Year2016
PublisherInternational Institute of Social and Economic Sciences (IISES)
Publication dates
Print28 Apr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jan 2017
Place of publicationPrague, Czech Republic
Event22nd International Academic Conference
ISBN978-80-87927-21-2
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.20472/IAC.2016.022.064
Web address (URL)http://www.iises.net/proceedings/22nd-international-academic-conference-lisbon/table-of-content/detail?article=-the-teaching-excellence-framework-tef-would-you-tell-me-please-which-way-i-ought-to-go-from-here-
Additional information

© 2016 International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences

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