Independent HE has responded to the Government’s technical consultation on year 2 of the Teaching Excellence Framework.
Summary of key points:
- TEF is proceeding at a pace which will mean many Alternative Providers (APs) will not be able to engage with the process until at least Year Four.
- Existing data collections which inform NSS and DLHE are problematic for APs and must be re-developed to better reflect the range of students taking higher education qualifications. In particular, the exclusion of students on short courses, with which many APs have had considerable success in promoting social mobility, is an important issue.
- It is not clear who may be considered a “graduate” for the purposes of TEF; students leaving many APs do not fit traditional definitions of a ‘graduate’ used currently for the DLHE survey.
- We have concerns about the proposed way of setting benchmarks and the challenges posed by sample sizes. Ideally the benchmarks would be redeveloped using datasets which incorporate several years of AP data.
- We agree that TEF metrics should be averaged over the most recent three years of available data, however, very few providers operating outside of the publicly funded sector will currently have any data to submit to TEF and will therefore be excluded from participating altogether until they can obtain the required data.
- We would welcome clarification from the Government on what elements from the submission will form part of public information in the future, as this is critical to understanding how TEF participation might enhance the reputation of providers.
- The proposed number of TEF commendations are too few, and the areas too narrow in focus. Commendations should be more widely applied and we strongly urge a greater use of commendations as a way to reflect both the diversity of the sector and the value added in specific institutions, especially as these will likely be one of the elements most reported on publicly.
- The difference between ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ TEF ratings are unlikely to be understood by prospective students, by employers or in an international context. We recommend using alternative descriptors or adopting numerical levels to make the information more helpful.
Read our complete response here: Independent HE response to TEF year two technical consultation
- On 12th July 2016