Leading universities rated ‘bronze’ under new ranking system


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Several leading universities have failed to score highly in a new ranking of degree teaching standards.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) has rated 295 institutions bronze, silver or gold according to their standard of undergraduate teaching.

Gold went to 59 and silver to 116.

The lowest score of bronze was awarded to 56 – including the London School of Economics (LSE), Southampton, Liverpool, Goldsmiths and the School of Oriental and African Studies (Soas).

The new teaching rankings aim to help students make informed choices about degree courses, but many universities rated as bronze have criticised the system as unfair and unreliable.

Drop-out rates

The TEF, which was introduced by the previous government, is being administered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce).

Degree providers – a mixture of universities, colleges offering degree courses and alternative providers – could choose whether or not to take part.

However, those awarded a bronze or higher – all institutions that took part, besides 64 who were given a provisional rating – are now set to be able to raise tuition fees, which currently stand at about £9,000, in line with inflation in 2018-19.

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Higher education providers are assessed on a range of measures, including facilities, student satisfaction, drop-out rates and whether students go on to employment or further study after graduating.

It is based on data and not actual inspections of lectures or other teaching.

Fourteen further education colleges that offer degrees received the top ranking of gold, alongside some elite universities.

University grading system explained

Differences between institutions, such as entry qualifications and subjects studied, were taken into account by an independent panel – made up of 27 academics, students, employers and experts in widening participation – which made the final awards.

A gold award means a university is of the highest quality found in the UK, providing “consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students”, while the silver award was given for consistently exceeding “rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education” and bronze was awarded to those that met these national requirements.

The ranking of provisional is given to those institutions that do not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed.

Hefce said the rankings measured the issues that students cared about:

high-quality, engaged teaching
a supportive, stimulating learning environment
having the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential
the opportunity to progress to a good job or further study

Madeleine Atkins, chief executive of Hefce, said students invested significant amounts of time and money in their higher education and “rightly expected a high-quality learning experience and outcomes”.

Prof Chris Husbands, who chairs the TEF assessment panel, said he hoped the TEF “provided clear and easily understandable ratings to be used alongside other information”.

He stressed that within individual awards, universities may have elements of others – for example a university awarded bronze could have elements of gold or silver.

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said the fact that some of the results “seemed surprising” suggested the TEF was working.

“The TEF would have comprehensively failed if it had simply replicated existing hierarchies,” he said.

“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.”

But he added that students should remember the TEF did not “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,” he said.

Sir Christopher Snowden, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton, which received a bronze award, said it was “hard to have confidence in a TEF which appears devoid of any meaningful assessment of teaching”.

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“I know I am not alone in having deep concerns about its subjective assessment, its lack of transparency, and with different benchmarks for each institution removing any sense of equity and equality of assessment,” he said.

“Our own student satisfaction metrics, including satisfaction with teaching, are better than some of those universities who have been awarded silver and gold today.”

Southampton intends to appeal against its rating.

Dr Deborah Johnston, pro-director of Soas, said she was concerned that the TEF did not “accurately reflect what we do”.

“There is clearly also a London effect, with one in three London institutions achieving bronze, compared to just one in eight outside London.

“The metrics were not benchmarked for London, when we believe there was a significant difference for London institutions, for example in relation to retention rates due to costs of living.”

In a statement, the University of Liverpool said it was disappointing to receive a bronze rating, but added that the TEF was “not an absolute measure of quality”.

“By other widely recognised rankings, the University of Liverpool is consistently named in the top 200 universities globally,” it said.

“Nonetheless, we’re committed to improving against the measures used in the TEF.”

Patrick Loughrey, warden of Goldsmiths said the TEF rating showed “we must improve in a number of areas to ensure our students have the best possible experience during their time here”.

“We are already working hard to do this, and look forward to meeting these challenges together over the coming months and years” he said.

Interim director of the LSE, Prof Julia Black, said there were limits to the measures the TEF used, but added: “We recognise that we have work to do, but we are confident that the education initiatives that we have under way will lead to improvements for our students.”

FULL LIST OF UNIVERSITIESHIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION
TEF RANKING
University of Abertay Dundee
Silver
ABI College Limited
Provisional
Abingdon and Witney College
Silver
The Academy of Contemporary Music Limited
Provisional
Access to Music Limited
Provisional
Accrington and Rossendale College
Bronze
Activate Learning
Silver
ALRA
Provisional
Amersham & Wycombe College
Bronze
Anglia Ruskin University
Silver
Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
Silver
Architectural Association (Incorporated)
Provisional
The Arts University Bournemouth
Gold
University of the Arts, London
Silver
Askham Bryan College
Bronze
Assemblies of God Incorporated
Provisional
Aston University
Gold
Aylesbury College
Bronze
Bangor University
Gold
The University of Bath
Gold
Bath Spa University
Silver
University of Bedfordshire
Silver
BIMM Limited
Provisional
Birkbeck College
Silver
The University of Birmingham
Gold
University College Birmingham
Silver
Birmingham City University
Silver
Bishop Burton College
Bronze
Bishop Grosseteste University
Gold
Blackburn College
Bronze
Blackpool and the Fylde College
Gold
BMC (Brooksby Melton College)
Bronze
The University of Bolton
Silver
Bournemouth University
Silver
Bournville College
Provisional
BPP University Limited
Bronze
The University of Bradford
Silver
Bradford College
Bronze
University of Brighton
Silver
University of Bristol
Silver
Bristol Baptist College
Provisional
Brit College Limited
Provisional
The British School of Osteopathy
Bronze
Brunel University London
Silver
The University of Buckingham
Gold
Buckinghamshire New University
Bronze
Calderdale College
Silver
University of Cambridge
Gold
Cambridge Regional College
Bronze
Canterbury Christ Church University
Silver
Canterbury College
Silver
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Silver
Cardiff University
Silver
Cardinal Newman College
Provisional
University of Central Lancashire
Silver
University of Chester
Silver
The University of Chichester
Silver
Chichester College
Silver
The Chicken Shed Theatre Trust
Silver
Cirencester College
Provisional
City and Guilds of London Art School Limited
Provisional
City College Plymouth
Gold
City of Bristol College
Silver
The City of Liverpool College
Gold
City, University of London
Silver
Cleveland College of Art and Design
Gold
Colchester Institute
Silver
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
Gold
Cornwall College
Silver
Courtauld Institute of Art
Silver
Coventry University
Gold
University for the Creative Arts
Silver
Croydon College
Provisional
The University of Cumbria
Bronze
CWR
Provisional
Darlington College
Silver
De Montfort University
Gold
University of Derby
Gold
Doncaster College
Bronze
University of Dundee
Gold
University of Durham
Silver
Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College
Provisional
The University of East Anglia
Silver
East Durham College
Silver
East End Computing & Business College Limited
Provisional
East Kent College
Provisional
University of East London
Bronze
East Riding College
Bronze
Edge Hill University
Gold
The Edward James Foundation Limited
Provisional
The University of Essex
Gold
University College of Estate Management
Provisional
University of Exeter
Gold
Exeter College
Gold
Fairfield School of Business Ltd
Provisional
Falmouth University
Gold
Fareham College
Provisional
Farnborough College of Technology
Bronze
Furness College
Silver
Futureworks Training Limited
Provisional
Gateshead College
Silver
University of Gloucestershire
Silver
Goldsmiths College
Bronze
Grafton College Limited
Provisional
Greater Brighton Metropolitan College
Silver
University of Greenwich
Silver
Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
Bronze
Guildhall School of Music & Drama
Silver
Hadlow College
Bronze
Halesowen College
Silver
Harper Adams University
Gold
Hartlepool College of Further Education
Silver
Hartpury College
Gold
Heart of Worcestershire College
Silver
Hereford College of Arts
Silver
Heriot-Watt University
Silver
Hertford Regional College
Silver
University of Hertfordshire
Silver
Highbury College Portsmouth
Bronze
Holy Cross College
Provisional
Hopwood Hall College
Bronze
The University of Huddersfield
Gold
Hugh Baird College
Gold
The University of Hull
Silver
Hull College
Bronze
Hy Education Limited
Provisional
ICMP Management Limited
Provisional
Imperial College London
Gold
Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited
Silver
University of Keele
Gold
Kensington Education Foundation Limited
Provisional
The University of Kent
Gold
The Kingham Hill Trust
Provisional
King’s College London
Silver
Kingston College
Silver
Kingston Maurward College
Bronze
Kingston University
Bronze
Kirklees College
Silver
KLC Limited
Provisional
The University of Lancaster
Gold
The University of Law Limited
Gold
The University of Leeds
Gold
Leeds Beckett University
Silver
Leeds City College
Bronze
Leeds College of Art
Silver
Leeds Trinity University
Silver
The University of Leicester
Silver
Leicester College
Gold
University of Lincoln
Gold
Lincoln College
Silver
The University of Liverpool
Bronze
Liverpool Hope University
Gold
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
Gold
Liverpool John Moores University
Silver
University College London
Silver
London Bridge Business Academy Limited
Provisional
London College of Creative Media Limited
Provisional
The London Institute of Banking & Finance
Provisional
London Metropolitan University
Bronze
London School of Business and Management Limited
Provisional
The London School of Economics and Political Science
Bronze
London School of Management Education Limited
Provisional
London School of Science & Technology Limited
Provisional
London School of Theology
Provisional
London South Bank University
Silver
London Studio Centre Limited
Silver
Loughborough College
Silver
Loughborough University
Gold
Luther King House Educational Trust
Provisional
Macclesfield College
Provisional
The University of Manchester
Silver
LTE Group
Silver
Manchester Metropolitan University
Silver
Met Film School Limited
Provisional
Middlesbrough College
Gold
Middlesex University
Silver
Milton Keynes College
Bronze
Moorlands College
Provisional
Myerscough College
Silver
Nazarene Theological College
Provisional
NCG
Silver
Neath Port Talbot College
Silver
Nelson College London Limited
Provisional
New College Durham
Bronze
New College Stamford
Silver
Newbury College
Provisional
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Gold
Newham College of Further Education
Provisional
Newman University
Silver
Norland College Limited
Provisional
North East Surrey College of Technology
Bronze
North Hertfordshire College
Silver
North Lindsey College
Silver
North West Regional College
Provisional
The University of Northampton
Gold
Northampton College
Silver
Northern College of Acupuncture
Provisional
Northumberland College
Bronze
University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Silver
Norwich University of the Arts
Gold
The University of Nottingham
Gold
Nottingham Trent University
Gold
Oaklands College
Silver
The School of Oriental and African Studies
Bronze
University of Oxford
Gold
Oxford Brookes University
Silver
Oxford Business College UK Limited
Provisional
Pearson College Limited
Provisional
Petroc
Silver
Plumpton College
Bronze
University of Plymouth
Bronze
Plymouth College of Art
Bronze
Point Blank Limited
Provisional
University of Portsmouth
Gold
Preston College
Bronze
Queen Mary University of London
Silver
The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education
Provisional
Ravensbourne
Silver
The University of Reading
Silver
Reaseheath College
Bronze
Redcar & Cleveland College
Silver
RNN Group
Silver
The Robert Gordon University
Gold
Roehampton University
Bronze
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
Gold
The Royal Academy of Music
Gold
The Royal Agricultural University
Silver
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Gold
Royal College of Music
Gold
Royal Holloway, University of London
Silver
Royal Northern College of Music
Gold
The Royal Veterinary College
Gold
RTC Education Ltd
Provisional
SAE Education Limited
Provisional
The University of Salford
Bronze
Salford City College
Bronze
The Salvation Army
Provisional
Selby College
Silver
The University of Sheffield
Silver
Sheffield Hallam University
Silver
Solihull College and University Centre
Gold
South & City College Birmingham
Silver
South Devon College
Gold
South Tyneside College
Silver
South West College
Provisional
University of Southampton
Bronze
Southampton Solent University
Bronze
Southport College
Bronze
Sparsholt College
Silver
Spurgeon’s College
Provisional
University of St Andrews
Gold
University of St Mark & St John
Silver
St Mary’s University, Twickenham
Silver
St. George’s, University of London
Bronze
Staffordshire University
Silver
Stockton Riverside College
Silver
Stratford College London Limited
Provisional
Strode College
Silver
University of Suffolk
Bronze
University of Sunderland
Silver
Sunderland College
Silver
The University of Surrey
Gold
University of Sussex
Silver
Sussex Coast College Hastings
Provisional
Sussex Downs College
Silver
Swansea University
Silver
Teesside University
Silver
Tertiary Education Services Limited
Provisional
Tresham College of Further and Higher Education
Provisional
Trinity College (Bristol) Limited
Provisional
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Bronze
Truro and Penwith College
Gold
Tyne Metropolitan College
Bronze
UCK Limited
Provisional
UK College of Business and Computing Ltd
Provisional
Wakefield College
Silver
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Bronze
The University of Warwick
Silver
Warwickshire College
Bronze
West Herts College
Gold
West Kent and Ashford College
Silver
The University of West London
Silver
University of the West of England, Bristol
Silver
The University of Westminster
Bronze
Weston College of Further and Higher Education
Gold
Wigan and Leigh College
Silver
Wiltshire College
Bronze
University of Winchester
Silver
University of Wolverhampton
Bronze
University of Worcester
Silver
Wrexham Glyndwr University
Silver
Writtle University College
Bronze
University of York
Silver
York College
Silver
York St John University
Bronze



Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40356423

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