Going for gold: How did colleges fare in the TEF?

22nd June 2017 at 00:01
Some 14 colleges achieved the top rating in the first Teaching Excellence Framework result, outstripping Russell Group universities in the process

One in eight colleges achieved the “gold” status for higher education teaching in the first set of Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) ratings published today.

Of the 106 further education colleges in the TEF, 14 achieved gold status, 46 were rated silver and 31 bronze, while 15 received a “provisional” rating.

A gold award means that an institution is of the highest quality found in the UK, providing "consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students", while the silver award was given for consistently exceeding "rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education" and bronze was given to those that met these national requirements.

And the best-performing colleges fared better than some of the country's top universities. Of the 21 elite universities in the Russell Group, eight were given a gold rating, 10 were awarded silver and three got a bronze.

'Great innovative work'

John Widdowson, chair of the Mixed Economy Group of colleges offering HE, told Tes: "As a college sector, we tend to have a higher proportion of part-time students in our work, so we've got to make sure that greater diversity of students get taken into account in the metric. But it was a good first run-through, and it is great to see so many colleges in the gold category. There's some really great innovative work going on in colleges to get those hard-to-get-at students into education."

David Hughes, chief executive of the Associaiton of Colleges, said: "I'm delighted that the TEF has confirmed what we already knew - that colleges up and down the country are delivering high quality higher education which matches the best. The results, including 14 gold awards, shows that HE students in colleges have great teaching, facilities and outcomes.

"This is the first set of full results for the TEF and I am sure that colleges and HEFCE will have learned a lot from the experience. We will start now to see how far the TEF influences student choices and it is likely that more colleges will want to enter to be graded in the future. We will work closely with the TEF team to ensure that the metrics and the assessment work well for colleges which tend to have more part-time and older students who are working whilst learning."

This was the first set of ratings announced in what is to be a trial year for the new scheme. The TEF, applications for which closed in January, assesses universities and colleges offering higher education based on metrics of graduate employment, student retention and student satisfaction. It also takes into consideration any additional evidence submitted. In future years, their rating could impact the fee level universities can charge. Staff and student unions have been critical of the scheme.

Last September, the government announced in a consultation response that the highly skilled employment metric – reflecting the proportion of HE graduates who have gone on to work in high-skill jobs – “will need to be benchmarked to ensure it takes account of the students taught by that provider".  “This will ensure that providers are not penalised for offering certain courses, or for taking on students from disadvantaged areas or with characteristics associated with less successful outcomes,” it added.

Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which published the results, said: "Students currently invest significant amounts of time and, indeed, money, incurring debt in their higher education. They are quite right to expect a high-quality academic experience."

The assessment "measures the things that students themselves say they really care about", she added.

Full college rankings

Blackpool and the Fylde College

Gold

City College Plymouth

Gold

The City of Liverpool College

Gold

Cleveland College of Art and Design

Gold

Exeter College

Gold

Hartpury College

Gold

Hugh Baird College

Gold

Leicester College

Gold

Middlesbrough College

Gold

Solihull College and University Centre

Gold

South Devon College

Gold

Truro and Penwith College

Gold

West Herts College

Gold

Weston College of Further and Higher Education

Gold

Abingdon and Witney College

Silver

Activate Learning

Silver

Calderdale College

Silver

Canterbury College

Silver

Chichester College

Silver

City of Bristol College

Silver

Colchester Institute

Silver

Cornwall College

Silver

Darlington College

Silver

East Durham College

Silver

Furness College

Silver

Gateshead College

Silver

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Silver

Halesowen College

Silver

Hartlepool College of Further Education

Silver

Heart of Worcestershire College

Silver

Hereford College of Arts

Silver

Hertford Regional College

Silver

Kingston College

Silver

Kirklees College

Silver

Lincoln College

Silver

Loughborough College

Silver

LTE Group

Silver

Myerscough College

Silver

NCG

Silver

Neath Port Talbot College

Silver

New College Stamford

Silver

North Hertfordshire College

Silver

North Lindsey College

Silver

Northampton College

Silver

Oaklands College

Silver

Petroc

Silver

Redcar & Cleveland College

Silver

RNN Group

Silver

Selby College

Silver

South & City College Birmingham

Silver

South Tyneside College

Silver

Sparsholt College

Silver

Stockton Riverside College

Silver

Strode College

Silver

Sunderland College

Silver

Sussex Downs College

Silver

Wakefield College

Silver

West Kent and Ashford College

Silver

Wigan and Leigh College

Silver

York College

Silver

Accrington and Rossendale College

Bronze

Amersham & Wycombe College

Bronze

Askham Bryan College

Bronze

Aylesbury College

Bronze

Bishop Burton College

Bronze

Blackburn College

Bronze

BMC (Brooksby Melton College)

Bronze

Bradford College

Bronze

Cambridge Regional College

Bronze

Doncaster College

Bronze

East Riding College

Bronze

Farnborough College of Technology

Bronze

Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education

Bronze

Hadlow College

Bronze

Highbury College Portsmouth

Bronze

Hopwood Hall College

Bronze

Hull College

Bronze

Kingston Maurward College

Bronze

Leeds City College

Bronze

Milton Keynes College

Bronze

New College Durham

Bronze

North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT)

Bronze

Northumberland College

Bronze

Plumpton College

Bronze

Preston College

Bronze

Reaseheath College

Bronze

Salford City College

Bronze

Southport College

Bronze

Tyne Metropolitan College

Bronze

Warwickshire College

Bronze

Wiltshire College

Bronze

Bournville College

Provisional

Cardinal Newman College

Provisional

Cirencester College

Provisional

Croydon College

Provisional

Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College

Provisional

East Kent College

Provisional

Fareham College

Provisional

Holy Cross College

Provisional

Macclesfield College

Provisional

Newbury College

Provisional

Newham College of Further Education

Provisional

North West Regional College

Provisional

South West College

Provisional

Sussex Coast College Hastings

Provisional

Tresham College of Further and Higher Education

Provisional

 

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