Warning Javascript is turned off For the best experience please use a JavaScript enabled browser.

What is the TEF?

The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) recognises excellent teaching in UK higher education providers by rating them as gold, silver or bronze. The results help prospective students choose where to study.

The TEF was developed by the Department for Education and is carried out by the Office for Students. The ratings are judged by an independent panel of students, academics and other experts.

Students invest significant amounts of time and money in higher education, and should expect a high quality academic experience. The TEF measures the things students care about.

As well as helping prospective students to choose where to study, the TEF also encourages providers to work with their students to identify, pursue and maintain excellence.

TEF was introduced in 2016, and 295 providers currently hold a TEF award. See all participating providers and their TEF awards.

Awards can last for up to three years, but providers can apply annually for a TEF award.

For providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, participation is voluntary.

For providers in England, participation in TEF has been voluntary. But provider which register with the Office for Students will have to take part in the next TEF assessment if they have over 500 students.

Other providers that meet eligibility requirements can also participate.

A provider taking part in the TEF is awarded:

  • gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It’s of the highest quality found in the UK
  • silver for delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education*
  • bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

Provisional awards are given to participating providers that meet national quality requirements, but do not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed.

To be eligible to take part a provider must meet rigorous national quality requirements for higher education. The TEF measures excellence in addition to these requirements. You can find out more about the national quality requirements here:

TEF awards cover undergraduate provision.

*To receive a TEF rating, providers must meet the requirements of the quality assessment system in their home nation.

The awards are judged by an independent panel of students, academics and other experts.

The provider’s undergraduate teaching is assessed against ten criteria that cover teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes.

The TEF panel considers evidence from national data as well as written evidence submitted by the provider.

The data includes:

  • continuation rates
  • student satisfaction
  • employment and further study outcomes.

The assessment takes account of the context of each provider and differences in students' backgrounds, entry qualifications and subjects studied.

Providers in England with a TEF award may increase tuition fees in line with inflation for 2018-19, capped at £9,250 per year.

For providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, participation in TEF has no impact on their tuition fees.

Describe your experience of using this website

Improve experience feedback
* *

Thank you for you feedback