The University of St Andrews is to take part in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the voluntary assessment exercise which will measure the quality of teaching and learning in universities and other higher education (HE) institutions across the United Kingdom.
St Andrews joins a number of its fellow Scottish universities and a substantial majority of the HE sector elsewhere in the UK in choosing to enter TEF.
The Teaching Excellence Framework is a UK Government initiative which aims to provide students with clear information about teaching quality, while raising the status of good teaching and recognising institutions that do the most to welcome and support students from a range of backgrounds.
St Andrews, which was named University of the Year for Teaching Quality this year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, will volunteer to be assessed under TEF in addition to its existing firm commitment to the Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) which includes regular internal and external reviews of learning and teaching standards at Scotland’s universities.
The QEF is highly regarded for its emphasis on constant improvements to teaching and the academic experience. Under this framework, St Andrews completed its last Enhancement-Led Institutional Review in 2015, receiving a range of commendations.
In entering TEF, St Andrews recognises that the new framework is a developing measure of teaching quality in the UK, but one which will allow students and staff to see, interrogate and compare the quality of teaching across a wide and diverse range of universities.
As such, volunteering to be part of TEF is entirely consistent with our strategy of maintaining the university’s outstanding profile internationally, enabling us to continue to attract the brightest students from all over the world to study in Scotland.
In Scotland, unlike south of the border, participation in TEF will not be linked to setting of fee levels.
In 2005, St Andrews became the first Scottish university to opt for inclusion in the National Student Survey (NSS), the annual measure of student satisfaction with the quality of academic programmes.
In the 11 years that it has participated in the NSS, St Andrews has been ranked first or second in the UK eight times. For over a decade it has been the only Scottish university to be placed consistently among the UK top five by independent league tables produced by The Times and Sunday Times, The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.
It is currently ranked third in the UK by the Times Higher Education poll of polls 2016/2017.
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