Jo Johnson, the new minister for higher education, is making plans to introduce a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) that will monitor and assess the quality of teaching at British universities. No details have been given about what the framework will look like or what kind of metrics will be used to indicate high quality teaching, but the conservatives have stated that the TEF will aim to:
- ensure all students receive an excellent teaching experience that encourages original thinking, drives up engagement and prepares them for the world of work
- build a culture where teaching has equal status with research, with great teachers enjoying the same professional recognition and opportunities for career and pay progression as great researchers
- provide students with the information they need to judge teaching quality
- recognise institutions that do the most to welcome students from a range of backgrounds and support their retention and progression
- include a clear set of outcome-focused criteria and metrics.
It has been argued that TEF is an approach that will provide greater incentives for staff to offer high quality teaching mechanisms as existing performance indicators are largely focused on research. Others have suggested that the framework will lead to increased tuition fees to enable the high performers to charge more than the less well established institutions. Either way, no one knows what the finanical implications or rewards will be or whether the framework will lead to another big, bureaucratic system similar to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Discussions start in the autumn. We need to embrace TEF – not ignore it.
- Experience the Centre of the Cell
- Letter from the House of Commons