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Gold, silver or bronze ratings to be flagged

Universities will learn the provisional results of the teaching excellence framework this week.

Each institution will receive information on how well it does at ensuring students are happy with their courses, are completing their studies and progressing into employment or further study, how these numbers vary for different types of students and whether the variations are comparable with other institutions. The metrics will be used to inform the panels judging the teaching excellence framework and will allow universities to judge whether they wish to enter the exercise. The panels have been told to consider those institutions that comfortably exceed their benchmarks as gold, those that meet their benchmarks as silver and those that fail to achieve their benchmarks as bronze. The medal system will then be used to inform the level of tuition fees that universities in England can charge; it could also be used to inform the visa system for international students.

Meanwhile members of the Russell Group of 24 research-intensive universities, some of which are expected to perform badly in the teaching excellence framework, are visiting China. Eight vice-chancellors of British universities are due to discuss how to foster excellence in research, innovation and higher education and consider the benefits of, and opportunities for, collaboration between the Russell Group and Chinese universities. The group comprises: Michael Arthur of University College London; Stuart Croft of the University of Warwick; Sir David Eastwood of the University of Birmingham; Sir David Greenaway of the University of Nottingham; Patrick Johnson of Queen’s University, Belfast; Koen Lamberts of the University of York; Anton Muscatelli of the University of Glasgow; and Colin Riordan of Cardiff University. They will be meeting the leaders of Fudan University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University, the University of Science and Technology of China, Xi’an Jiaotong University and Zhejiang University.

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