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Response to BIS Committee TEF report

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Universities UK has welcomed the findings of a new report from the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee into the government's proposals for a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for universities in England.

The Committee's report says that a poorly designed or rushed new Teaching Excellence Framework for universities would risk damaging the UK’s outstanding international reputation in higher education.

Chris Hale, Universities UK’s Director of Policy, said : “This report is a useful contribution to government’s policy proposals. We are pleased that the committee has taken on board the sector’s view that sufficient time for development and testing should be built into the introduction of the TEF. We believe that a robust well developed TEF can make a valuable contribution to student decision making and the delivery of excellent teaching by universities.

“We do not agree with the need for a link between multiple levels of 'teaching excellence' and fees, as we believe this is likely to be complex and counter-productive to the aims of delivering excellent teaching to students. We believe that any link to between the TEF and fees should focus on a baseline threshold that all students should expect from their higher education.

“We are pleased that the Committee noted the work of Universities UK's Social Mobility Advisory Group. UUK believes that the group’s recommendations will make an important contribution to the government’s aim of improving access and long-term success for under-represented groups in higher education.

“We also welcome the select committee's support for an independent quality assurance system in relation to proposals for an Office for Students. We believe that this independence is important to the overall autonomy of universities and has contributed to the sector’s outstanding international reputation. UUK is also committed to maintaining a UK-wide higher education system and agrees with the committee that careful consideration needs to be given to the impact of reforms between the devolved nations.

“We also support the committee’s interest in the government’s plans for ensuring coherence between teaching and research as well as protecting appropriate elements of the dual support system for research.

“Universities UK will be working closely with the government to help ensure its proposals contribute to the ongoing success of the sector.”

Key Contacts

Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

Media Relations Manager
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

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