Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:

‘The Teaching Excellence Framework would have comprehensively failed if it had simply replicated existing hierarchies. It was always designed to do something different to other league tables and rankings – namely, to show where there are pockets of excellence that have been ignored and to encourage improvements elsewhere.

‘So the fact that some of the results seem surprising suggests it is working. I visit around 50 universities a year so know the Gold ratings have been hard won by committed staff and students and are very well deserved.

‘Nonetheless, in this early guise, the TEF is far from a perfect assessment of teaching and learning. While it tells us a lot of useful things, none of them accurately reflects precisely what goes on in lecture halls. I hope university applicants will use the results in their decision making but they should do so with caution, not least because the ratings are for whole universities rather than individual courses.’

Notes for Editors

Nick Hillman can be contacted at 07730 718247 or n.hillman@hepi.ac.uk.

The Higher Education Policy Institute has published various papers on the Teaching Excellence Framework and the metrics that it uses, all of which are available at www.hepi.ac.uk.