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Almost a quarter of institutions appeal TEF rating

Results for 53 providers are pending as they dispute grades given by Office for Students

The publication of the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework results has been marred by the fact that awards for more than 50 institutions are pending.

Some 53 providers have appealed their final rating, meaning that they have not yet received a TEF award. This represents 23 per cent of the total 228 assessed.

All providers that received the lowest rating—‘requires improvement’—are among those appealing, Research Professional News understands. It means that not a single institution has yet received this rating. 

The TEF, operated by the Office for Students, rates providers on metrics designed to measure student experience and student outcomes, awarding an overall gold, silver or bronze rating. It was designed to give students an insight into the quality of teaching at an institution, and this year’s ratings will be valid for four years.

Research Professional News understands that the institutions that have appealed their result will face a two-to-three-month wait before learning their rating.

Results day

According to today’s results, 46 universities and colleges have been awarded gold TEF ratings. The results are based on the findings of a panel of academic experts and student representatives.

For the first time this year, in addition to its overall rating, each higher education provider has been given a rating for student experience and a rating for student outcomes. Some 73 institutions were awarded gold in at least one category.

Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the Office for Students, said: “This is a moment for celebration of the very best of higher education in England. The TEF ratings we’ve published today clearly demonstrate the excellence on display in universities and colleges. Institutions right across the sector, and right around the country, have demonstrated that they deliver an outstanding student experience and outcomes.”

She added that the results “will help guide future students as they make choices about what and where to study”.

“They show that excellence is found in a diverse range of institutions, with students from all backgrounds receiving an excellent education that equips them for success beyond graduation,” Lapworth added.

A version of this article also appeared in Research Fortnight