Students pay a significant price for higher education, through their time and effort, as well as in financial terms. That’s why the OfS is focused on ensuring that all students, whatever their background and characteristics, can feel confident their course will be high quality. If a university or college falls short of the minimum requirements for quality, including student outcomes , we could use our regulatory powers to find out why and to take action when needed.
Beyond the minimum requirements, we encourage universities and colleges to deliver the highest possible quality for their students. The TEF would give recognition to universities and colleges that deliver excellent teaching and successful outcomes for their students. That recognition, in the form of a TEF rating is designed to be an incentive to keep driving improvements. It would also show prospective students where they are most likely to find courses with excellent teaching and learning.
A lot of our proposals are centred on student outcomes. This is because positive outcomes for students – completing their course and going onto employment or further study – are good indicators of whether or not a higher education course is high quality.
We will require reliable, appropriate and meaningful data to monitor student outcomes effectively. We are consulting on proposals about how we would construct, present and interpret data about student outcomes and experiences, to enable higher education providers, students and others to understand, and help shape, the evidence base for our regulation.