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Subject to change?

Universities UK is the latest body to present its assessment of the Teaching Excellence Framework, using its report to take aim at subject-level assessment.

It took a surprisingly long time to appoint someone to head up the independent review of the Teaching Excellence Framework. When the job went to Dame Shirley Pearce in November, it was thought that at least two people had already turned the opportunity down.

It is easy to understand why. Outside the world of higher education, it seems reasonable for universities to demonstrate that their research and teaching are up to scratch. Little attention is paid to the nuance of how such ratings are compiled. Within higher education, meanwhile, there may be sympathy for the aims and intentions of such exercises but there is widespread dislike and criticism of the methodologies used—mainly because they are a bit rubbish (or, to put it more diplomatically, ‘the best of a bad lot’).

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