2017 TEF awards announced

Students in university library

The TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) has shone the spotlight on universities you might not have considered applying for.... 

Which universities are top of the TEF?

In fact, you’ll notice it’s not the usual 'top of the league table' university players. In the TEF, Oxbridge has been ranked gold for its teaching alongside Aston University, Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent University, The University of Surrey, The Royal Veterinary College, University of St Andrews, De Montfort University, the University of Lancaster and Bangor University. 

Who’s in 3rd place (bronze) according to the TEF?
This framework provides an alternative perspective to the traditional league tables that are commonly used by applicants like you who are making decisions around their university options. 

Shocks include London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE), currently positioned in the Guardian league table at 15 and The London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), 25, followed by the University of Southampton, now placed in the Guardian at 35. 

What is the TEF and why should I care?

The TEF has been created to encourage investment in teaching and learning excellence in the UK. Uni isn’t cheap and with growing concerns from students that they're not getting enough bang for their buck, this framework will help you identify universities that provide outstanding teaching.

The TEF has been released now to ensure students who are beginning their university application from this September will be able to use this framework as an additional tool to help them choose the right university.

Will the TEF impact what I pay to study at university?

The Government has previously announced that the TEF will enable universities in England to raise fees in line with inflation based on their positioning in the TEF. The Department of Education will confirm the 2018-fee caps soon.

Students studying on laptops

What does the TEF measure?
Going to uni is a big financial investment for you. The TEF aims to help you manage your expectations around the quality of education you're likely to receive from your university based on: 

Teaching quality
TEF: The extent to which teaching stimulates and challenges you, and maximises your engagement with your studies.” 

What you need to consider: Will the way this subject is taught and the content of the degree at this university motivate me to turn up to all my lectures and seminars?

Learning environment

TEF: “The effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.” 
What you need to consider: Is the library well-stocked, will you have access to all the resources you need, will the work experience opportunities set you up with solid skills that will boost your graduate application?

Student outcomes

TEF: “The extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular students from disadvantaged backgrounds”.

What you need to consider: Will your university experience provide you with the skills and confidence to apply and pin down a great job after graduation. Will the next three years (or more) be worthwhile and help you to grow. 

Has every higher education provider been judged in the same way?
The TEF has taken into account the diversity of universities and colleges and their various aims, specialisms and student backgrounds. This means that that the panel has reviewed student characteristics, entry qualifications and the types of subject studied. 
Each university and college was also asked to submit evidence of how they tailor their approach based on their students. 

TEF measures

How long will TEF award last for?

The gold, silver or bronze award will be valid for three years. If you're a GCSE (or equivalent) student, when it comes to applying to uni these awards will still stand. 



Silver Bronze 
For delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK. For delivering high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.
For delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education. 
  • The Arts University Bournemouth
  • Aston University
  • Bangor University
  • The University of Bath
  • The University of Birmingham
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • University of Cambridge
  • The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
  • Coventry University
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Derby
  • University of Dundee
  • The University of East Anglia
  • Edge Hill University
  • The University of Essex
  • University of Exeter
  • Falmouth University
  • Harper Adams University
  • The University of Huddersfield
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Keele
  • The University of Kent
  • The University of Lancaster
  • The University of Leeds
  • University of Lincoln
  • Liverpool Hope University
  • The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • The University of Northampton
  • Norwich University of the Arts
  • The University of Nottingham
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Portsmouth
  • The Robert Gordon University
  • Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance
  • The Royal Academy of Music
  • The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • The Royal Veterinary College
  • University of St Andrews
  • The University of Surrey
  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Anglo-European College of Chiropractic
  • University of the Arts, London
  • Bath Spa University
  • University of Bedfordshire
  • Birkbeck College
  • University College Birmingham
  • Birmingham City University
  • The University of Bolton
  • Bournemouth University
  • The University of Bradford
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Bristol
  • Brunel University London
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • The University of Chichester
  • City, University of London
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • University for the Creative Arts
  • University of Durham
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • The University of Hull
  • King's College London
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Leeds College of Art
  • Leeds Trinity University
  • The University of Leicester
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • University College London
  • London South Bank University
  • The University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • Newman University
  • University of Northumbria at Newcastle
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Ravensbourne
  • The University of Reading
  • The British School of Osteopathy
  • The University of Cumbria
  • University of East London
  • Goldsmiths' College
  • Kingston University
  • The University of Liverpool
  • London Metropolitan University
  • The London School of Economics and Political Science
  • The School of Oriental and African Studies
  • University of Plymouth
  • Plymouth College of Art
  • Roehampton University
  • The University of Salford
  • University of Southampton
  • Southampton Solent University
  • St. George's, University of London
  • University of Suffolk
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • The University of Westminster
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Writtle University College
  • York St John University

Note: the rating of University of East Anglia was upgraded from silver to gold following an appeal

What's more important to you? The quality of teaching or league table positioning?

Do you think you'll use the TEF?

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