Gold ratings for forty-six universities and colleges as TEF results announced

Forty-six universities and colleges have been awarded Gold ratings in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise carried out by the Office for Students (OfS).

Teaching Excellence Framework logo

The ratings, which are awarded by a TEF panel of independent academic experts and student representatives, are designed to identify excellent undergraduate teaching and student outcomes and help prospective students to choose their courses.

For the first time, each higher education provider has been awarded a rating for each ‘aspect’ of the TEF: the student experience and student outcomes. This gives students more information about where the panel found excellent performance for each university and college. In total 73 universities and colleges were awarded Gold for at least one aspect.

Of the Gold ratings awarded:

  • ten are for low entry tariff providers. A further seven low tariff providers have been awarded a Gold aspect
  • seven are for medium entry tariff providers. A further five have been awarded a Gold aspect
  • ten are for high entry tariff providers. A further eight have been awarded a Gold aspect
  • nine are for specialist providers in creative arts subjects
  • three are for specialist providers in other subjects. A further three have been awarded a Gold aspect
  • seven are for providers that teach mainly Level 4 or 5 qualifications (these are mostly further education colleges). A further four have been awarded a Gold aspect.

Commenting, Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, said:

‘This is a moment for celebration of the very best of higher education in England. The TEF ratings we’ve published today clearly demonstrate the excellence on display in universities and colleges. Institutions right across the sector, and right around the country, have demonstrated that they deliver an outstanding student experience and outcomes.

‘Today’s TEF ratings will help guide future students as they make choices about what and where to study. They show that excellence is found in a diverse range of institutions, with students from all backgrounds receiving an excellent education that equips them for success beyond graduation.

‘We are grateful for the important role played by students in delivering these TEF outcomes. They provided credible and compelling submissions about the strengths and weaknesses of institutions. They joined the TEF panel, bringing insight and diverse perspectives to deliberations and judgements. The TEF ratings published today would be less meaningful without those contributions.

‘We look forward to discussing the TEF panel’s judgements with the sector, and supporting universities and colleges to draw on the richness of those findings as they continue to develop and improve their courses.’

Professor Sir Chris Husbands, chair of the TEF panel and vice-chancellor at Sheffield Hallam University, said:

‘This year’s TEF ratings confirm that England’s higher education sector deserves its world-leading reputation. Each university and college with a TEF rating – whether it is Gold, Silver or Bronze – has demonstrated to the independent TEF panel members that there are excellent aspects to its courses. These results cement the position of English higher education and will serve as an important driver for future improvement.

‘My thanks go to the student and academic TEF panel members who have worked diligently throughout this process, assessing complex information and data before reaching their judgements. Their expertise and commitment is essential to the success of TEF.'

See the TEF ratings


  1. The Office for Students is the independent regulator for higher education in England. Our aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.
  2. A total of 228 universities, colleges and other higher education providers took part in the 2023 TEF exercise. This included 186 mandatory participants, that have 500 or more undergraduate students, and 42 voluntary participants. The results are published on the OfS website.
  3. All universities and colleges registered with the OfS must meet a high quality baseline for their courses. Improvement above the baseline is driven through the TEF. The TEF is a cyclical process, which runs every four years with judgements made by a panel of independent academic experts and students.
  4. As well as the 46 Gold ratings, so far 100 universities and colleges have a Silver rating, and 29 have a Bronze rating.
  5. A further 53 are still being considered by the TEF panel and their ratings will be awarded in due course.
  6. As well as today’s ratings, the OfS expects to publish further information, including a summary of the TEF panel’s statement for each provider, in November.


Published 28 September 2023

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