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Lessons Learned: a cup of tea with Mr. TEF

Martin McQuillan visits Chris Husbands, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, and discovers the secrets of the Teaching Excellence Framework over a cup of tea.

Sometimes it seems as if the only constant in an unstable higher education sector is the dislike so many academics have of the TEF. It is not just the idea that university teaching should be awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal for quality, it is that the TEF is the preferred mechanism for increasing tuition fees in England.

On the day after the Labour Party orchestrated a vote against fee increases in the House of Commons, I went to Sheffield to meet with Chris Husbands, appointed by the government to run the TEF. As a committed educationalist he was forgiving of my ignorance and gave me a tutorial on the secrets of the TEF.

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