Image Credit: Cornelia Chen

Oxford achieves gold rating for teaching excellence

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has awarded the University of Oxford a triple “Gold”.

The award, the highest achievable rating, comes as Oxford kept its first place position on the Times Higher Education world rankings for a record eighth year running. In celebrating that achievement, Vice-Chancellor Professor Irene Tracey acknowledged “the exceptional standards of teaching we deliver that will continue to inspire generations to come”.

The TEF is a scheme run by the Office for Students across the UK. It “aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies”.

Institutions taking part in the system receive an overall rating alongside two underpinning ratings, “one for the student experience and one for student outcomes”. It is based on a range of its undergraduate courses.

Ratings are decided by an “expert review exercise” with independent academics and students making up the TEF panel. They look at evidence from the provider itself, student submission, and numerical data.

Student submission included responses to the National Student Survey (NSS) responses. Data used in decision-making includes student continuation, completion, and progression figures.

Oxford’s NSS results were published last month after not reaching sufficient participation in the last six years. They highlighted the high quality of teaching, with academic support receiving 93% positivity.

Three ratings can result from this to reflect students’ experience and outcome. Gold indicates they are “typically outstanding”, silver meaning “very high quality”, and bronze being “typically high quality” with some “very high quality features”.

The University achieving gold across the board was celebrated by Professor Martin Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education. Williams stated that the “ratings, and Oxford’s positive National Student Survey scores, are testament to the excellent job done by our academic and professional services staff to support students”.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Irene Tracey stated that she was “delighted” at the recognition from “these important awards”. She said in her role she has focused on “championing our teaching and rewarding the academic staff who deliver it”.

Image Credit: Cornelia Chen