Exeter’s teaching excellence officially recognised as ‘gold standard’

The University of Exeter’s commitment to providing world-class teaching has been recognised with the award of a “Gold” rating in the first national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessment.

The University is one of 43 Higher Education Institutions to be recognised as offering gold standard teaching, learning and student and student outcomes in the TEF assessment, published today (June 22 2017).

The prestigious gold rating has been given in recognition of Exeter’s strong commitment to delivering outstanding teaching quality, a top class learning environment and outstanding outcomes for its students in terms of graduate employment. The TEF Panel judged that Exeter students, from all backgrounds, achieve outstanding outcomes.

The TEF Panel highlighted:

  • The University’s outstanding commitment to ensuring positive outcomes for all students
  • A learning experience enriched by teaching delivered by business, industry and professional experts
  • Teaching delivered in an outstanding environment
  • The highest quality support for independent study and research
  • Optimum levels of contact hours and class size designed to support subject-specific progression of learning and the development of graduate attributes
  • Exeter’s strategic approach to embedding consistency of experience for all students across the University
  • The consistent and effective use of management information to enhance student opportunities and achievement, embedded across the institution.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, from the University of Exeter said: “We are naturally delighted to have been awarded the Gold rating, as part of the national Teaching Excellence Framework.

“It is vital that the Higher Education sector evolves to meet the changing demands and expectations from students, in both learning and teaching. The TEF is designed to ensure that high-quality teaching receives the merits it deserves, in the same way that the Research Excellence Framework does for world-class research.

“At Exeter, we are absolutely committed to not only providing world-class research-inspired teaching and inquiry-led learning for all our students, but also aiding them at a time when they are making some of the biggest decisions of their lives. This Gold rating recognises not just this commitment, but crucially that we deliver this promise to those it matters to most – out students both now and in the future.”

Professor Tim Quine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) said: “UK universities provide some of the very best higher education in the world. Universities that have received the highest rating have demonstrated that their provision is consistently outstanding of the highest quality found in the UK higher education sector. The University of Exeter’s Gold rating demonstrates that we consistently ensure our students are significantly challenged to reach their full potential, and are frequently engaged with developments from the forefront of our world-leading research, scholarship and practice.”

The University of Exeter Students’ Guild President, Toby Gladwin commented: “We are delighted that the University of Exeter has been rated Gold in delivering exceptional teaching.  TEF is a fundamental priority and the Students’ Guild has been actively involved in the teaching excellence journey here at Exeter, helping to shape the outstanding academic community.  We look forward to continuing to improve our students’ experience and the opportunities this presents.”

Tom Murray-Richards, Exeter President of FXU, the student’s union at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall added: “I am delighted to see the University of Exeter receive Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. This is tangible evidence of the environment at the Penryn and Truro campuses delivering brilliant learning and teaching with a powerful impact for students, both during their degree in Cornwall and in the graduate job market.

“I’m proud that FXU continue to work with the University to champion and enhance this fantastic education, and trust that the progress we have recently witnessed continues in the years to come.”

The Teaching Excellence Framework has been introduced to ensure excellent teaching quality, learning environment and student employability outcomes are at the heart of the UK higher education system. The framework will put clear information into the hands of students so they know where there is high quality teaching and what benefits they can expect to gain from their courses.

An expert assessment panel awarded each participating provider with a clearly understandable rating of ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ or ‘Bronze’, based on a series of benchmarked metrics, which characterise all universities with similar student populations, and a provider written submission.

Announcing the Teaching Excellence Framework initiative last Autumn, Universities Minister Jo Johnson said: “The framework will give students clear, understandable information about where the best teaching is on offer and for the first time place teaching quality on a par with research at our universities.”