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 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.

What do the gold, silver and bronze awards mean?

A provider taking part in the TEF is awarded:

  • Gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
  • Silver for delivering high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
  • Bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

How are the TEF awards decided?

The awards are decided by an independent TEF Panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives.

The provider's undergraduate teaching is assessed against ten criteria that cover the areas of teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes.

The TEF Panel considers evidence from a set of metrics using national data as well as written evidence submitted by the provider. The metrics cover continuation rates, student satisfaction and employment outcomes. The metrics for each provider are benchmarked to take account of differences in its students’ characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied.

View the metrics and provider submissions at www.hefce.ac.uk/tefoutcomes.

Is there more information about a provider's TEF award?

A short statement by the TEF Panel explains each provider’s award. Read the statements on the HEFCE website at www.hefce.ac.uk/tefoutcomes.

How does the TEF affect tuition fees?

Universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award can increase their tuition fees in line with inflation, for full-time undergraduate UK and EU students. Tuition fee loans will also increase with inflation.

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