What Is the TEF in the UK and What Does It Mean for Universities and their Career Centres?

 In Career Services

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a newly developed method of ranking higher education institutions in the UK. The TEF places Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) into three categories, with ratings determined by the quality of student education and the success of students after graduation. How do universities and their career centres react to the advent of the TEF? For the most part, it all comes down to where their university falls within the ranking framework.

How Does the TEF Rank Universities?

The TEF assigns universities to one of three categories: Gold, Silver or Bronze. Gold and Silver HEIs either meet or exceed their benchmarked standards, while Bronze schools are thought to fall short. Participation is voluntary, and each institution that falls into one of the lower categories can appeal a ranking by supplying additional information. The factors used to determine a university’s rating within the TEF are:

  • Quality of the teaching
  • The learning environment, including facilities and technology
  • Outcomes achieved by students, including educational success and professional achievements

As of the 2017 TEF report, 59 universities earned a Gold rating, 116 picked up the Silver rating and 56 institutions received Bronze.

How Can Career Centres Respond to TEF?

If a career centre belongs to a university that participates in TEF rankings, it is more important than ever to foster success in their student body. Since student achievement outcomes account for one-third of the evaluation, career centres can help their institutions in a major way: matching students with quality job opportunities and landing them placements in their field can sway the school’s TEF score into a higher bracket.

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When a university falls into a lower TEF category, all hope is not lost; through dogged work and innovative career initiatives, career centre professionals can work with other colleagues within their university to improve the overall rating and boost student success at the same time.

To learn more, download Symplicity’s new TEF white paper.

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