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A TEF horror story

Image: goddard studio 13 [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

The Teaching Excellence Framework is a baffling example of how to sever a policy objective from its implementation.

The idea of the Teaching Excellence Framework was to re-balance the perceived focus on research as the key indicator of institutional quality by creating a sibling exercise for teaching.

But the basic proposition of a metrics-led—rather than metrics-informed—assessment of teaching quality has not only raised fundamental questions about its validity but also provided grist to those already concerned about the broader metrification of higher education. The Royal Statistical Society pulled no punches in declaring that the TEF was taking a “statistically inadequate approach” which “lacks validity and is unnecessarily vulnerable to being gamed”.

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