September 2023

University College Birmingham awarded Silver in national Teaching Excellence Framework

By Rebecca Hollington

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University College Birmingham has been recognised by the Office for Students’ (OfS) Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for delivering excellence in teaching and learning focusing on the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.

The University has been awarded Silver overall which recognises that the student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality. 228 higher education providers across England were assessed by the OfS, which aims to spotlight the quality of provision by providers and encourage students to use TEF ratings to support decision making.

The ratings are assessed by an expert panel of academics and students who use a combination of evidence that includes evidence submitted by the provider, numerical and data sources and, importantly, evidence submitted by students.

Along with the University’s overall rating, the TEF panel also determined a silver rating for the two underpinning rating areas of student experience and student outcomes.

The University has consistently excelled over the last year, as evidenced in recent results in the National Student Survey, wins at the What Uni Student Choice Awards, and student satisfaction highlighted in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey- which focuses on student satisfaction for those studying on Postgraduate Taught programmes.

Dr Helen Poole, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching, Learning and Digital), at University College Birmingham, said: “Student experience is at the heart of everything we do at University College Birmingham. Our excellent TEF results continue to demonstrate our commitment and excellence in delivering a superior experience for our students. The panel noted our high-quality teaching, assessment and feedback practices alongside a supportive learning environment that facilitates our students’ learning, progression and attainment.”

The panel review acknowledged the specialist tailored support students receive from a breadth of services offered by the University. Alice Wilby, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Access, Participation and Student Experience), said: “The University’s Student Success Strategy clearly outlines our commitment to an institution-wide approach to enabling students and to inclusive education practice ensuring that all students receive the right support at the right time to succeed in their studies.”

The panel’s review of the student experience at the University also highlighted professional practice and employer involvement to contribute to a very high quality academic experience for students. The panel referenced the University’s accreditations and memberships of numerous Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies, employer engagement across courses including the 2022 Commonwealth Games, industry input into the design of new facilities and provision for Engineering, Digital and Cyber and the institution-wide Strategic Employer Advisory Board.

Professor Paul Cadman, Chair of the Board and regional CEO, said: “This is an excellent result for University College Birmingham who demonstrate relentless focus on delivering education that provides the right skills and opportunities for students ensuring that they are future fit to achieve and succeed in their career goals. We know graduates go on to achieve great things, and it’s brilliant to see this underpinned by the University’s achievement in TEF ratings.”

Student voice is also a core part of the TEF assessment with the student submission providing evidence of how the University had changed practice in response to student feedback, features student co-creation in developments and planning of course and wider student provision, and contributed towards continuous improvement in experiences and outcomes for students.

Tom Hillen, Officer of the University College Birmingham Guild of Students, said: “Student voice and representation in all aspects of university life is vital in delivering a positive student experience. From things such as the Inclusive Education Framework, designing physical and virtual facilities such as the 360 degree immersive video suite, to the wider University investments and ambitions- the student voice can be heard throughout.”

Professor Michael Harkin, Vice-Chancellor and Principal at University College Birmingham, concludes: “Our TEF silver rating is not only important in recognising the hard work, dedication and expertise of our staff but also the impact for our students. Our recent graduation ceremonies were an excellent example of the readiness with which our students enter the next stage of their career ready to use their skills to make significant contributions to our communities.”

Find out more about University College Birmingham’s award-winning support for students and our wide range of undergraduate degrees.  

TEF ratings are awarded in 2023, for four years. For more information on the TEF scheme, refer to the OfS website ‘About the TEF’.

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