The University of Lincoln, UK, has been awarded Gold – the highest standard possible – in a national independent assessment of teaching quality in higher education.
Lincoln was awarded the prestigious status today (Thursday 22nd June 2017) in the publication of outcomes of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The TEF was introduced by the Government to help better inform students’ choices about what and where to study, raise the esteem of teaching, recognise and reward excellent teaching and better meet the needs of employers, business, industry and the professions.
A Gold Award means that: “Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Lincoln delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.”
In their statement of findings on the University of Lincoln, the TEF Panel said evidence showed: “students from all backgrounds… achieve outstanding outcomes”. There was additional evidence of “a comprehensive and embedded approach to student engagement that provides opportunities for students and staff to work closely together”. The panel also commended the “outstanding physical and digital resources which pervade all aspects of student experience, including state-of-the-art teaching spaces”.
Professor Mary Stuart, Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. We already pride ourselves on the education, experiences and opportunities we offer our students. Our TEF Gold award is further evidence of our exciting teaching, great support for students and excellent employment outcomes. It is testament to the talents and endeavours not just of our teaching staff but of everyone who makes up our academic community, including our students who so enthusiastically embrace the opportunities and challenges presented to them.”
TEF awards of gold, silver, bronze or provisional apply for up to three years and are determined by an independent panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives.
Higher education providers’ undergraduate teaching was assessed against criteria that cover the areas of teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes. The TEF Panel considered evidence from a set of metrics using national data as well as written evidence submitted by universities and colleges. The metrics covered student satisfaction, retention and employment outcomes and were benchmarked to take account of differences between institutions in students’ characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied.
The University of Lincoln was one of only 59 higher education providers of the total 295 entering the TEF to be awarded a Gold rating.
Professor Susan Rigby, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Student Development) at Lincoln, said: “It is particularly pleasing that the TEF Panel recognised the commitment we make to student engagement across the University, including our Student as Producer ethos. The panel also highlighted as a particular strength the way in which we recognise and reward excellent teaching and our approach to personalised learning through a personal tutor system and monitoring of student progress. It is the combination of all these characteristics that create the student experience at Lincoln and provide the foundation for so much of our students’ success.”
Commenting on the release of the TEF results, Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “These results, highlighting the extraordinary strengths of our higher education system, will help students choose which university or college to study at. The Teaching Excellence Framework is refocusing the sector’s attention on teaching – putting in place incentives that will raise standards across the sector and giving teaching the same status as research. Students, parents, employers and taxpayers all have a shared interest in ensuring that higher education equips the next generation of graduates for success.”
The University of Lincoln is already placed in the top 10 nationally for student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016; Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Ninety five per cent of Lincoln’s most recent graduates were in work or further study six months after finishing their course, with almost three quarters in graduate level roles (Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education Survey 2014/15).
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