The quality of education that students receive at their university or college is important so students can go on to achieve fulfilling lives and careers.
While many universities and colleges already offer a high quality education to their students, we work to tackle poor quality courses and ensure that all students from all backgrounds are supported to succeed in their studies.
We also check that the standard of assessment is consistent and that the qualifications students receive are valued in the long term. This ensures that students know that their efforts are accurately reflected in their degrees.
You can read more in our student guide to quality and standards.
The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework – the TEF – was introduced to encourage teaching excellence in higher education.
To receive a TEF award, UK universities and colleges must first meet the existing quality requirements. The TEF measures excellence beyond these requirements.
We also protect students if their course, faculty or whole university or college closes. To do this we:
- Make sure that every university or college we regulate has a student protection plan. These plans enable students to continue their education after the closure of a course or institution.
- Monitor whether a university or college has enough money to continue teaching and supporting students.
- Check that there are good governance arrangements in place for a university or college so that it can continue to operate effectively and support students’ learning.
- Ensure that universities or colleges comply with consumer law, which protects students' rights.
What can students' unions do?
If students believe that a university and college is not meeting the quality and standards requirements we set, they can make a notification. Students’ unions are in a good position to help recognise where this is the case and work with their students if a notification is appropriate.
We encourage students to get involved in the TEF and are exploring how we can increase opportunities for this. Students' unions can help their student communities understand the different ways they can take part.
Feeding back to universities and colleges
Students have a role to play in driving up quality and standards at their university or college, and universities and colleges should give students ways to feedback on the quality of their experience.