The Teaching Excellence Framework (otherwise known as the TEF) is a government initiative that ranks universities by Gold, Silver and Bronze. The TEF measures excellent teaching by looking at different data sources - including National Student Survey data on teaching, academic support and assessment, data on student retention, and graduate employment and earnings.
We like the idea of a teaching excellence framework, but we’re not sure the things that the current TEF focuses on or measures are the right ones for students. Graduate earnings seem to have very little connection to excellent teaching - for example someone might experience excellent teaching on an arts degree but might not earn a lot straight after graduation when they are working in their own studio. Mature students who are retired meanwhile might be doing their course just for the sake of learning. The retention of students also seems like a strange measurement for excellent teaching, do students only leave their university because teaching is poor?
We’re not sure that the current Teaching Excellence Framework is the right way of determining which universities have excellent teaching. We want to hear from you. What is your vision for teaching excellence? What would make your educational experience a ‘gold standard’? What do you think of the current framework’s way of measuring teaching excellence, and can you think of a better way?
Over February and March we will be holding six focus groups, one for each Faculty, to explore with you your alternative vision for teaching excellence. We will also be holding a focus group with staff that are teaching right now to get their ideas. All these views will then be turned into a report which we will present to the University and the government. The report will lay out Bristol students’ alternative vision of teaching excellence and an alternative framework to measure this by.
Want to be involved? Sign up to a focus group in your faculty on our website now.