OUSU Statement: Teaching Excellence Framework Findings

This morning, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) findings were published, and the University of Oxford has received a Gold award. Your SU continues to oppose the TEF, and to call for the University to opt out. 


In its current form, the TEF is still a mechanism to facilitate the uncapping of tuition fees, and (in subsequent iterations) the introduction of a model of differentiated fees across the Higher Education sector. OUSU continues to oppose and condemn the linking of fee increases to the assessment of teaching quality, as well as the introduction of differentiated fees and the marketisation of Higher Education in the UK. We remain concerned about the likely impact on the student body at Oxford of rising fees, and especially on the access implications for marginalised or disadvantaged students.


The TEF uses flawed metrics, as we've set out before, and on this basis we do not believe that it is a reliable indicator of teaching excellence. Academic quality and quality assurance are vital to ensure that students receive the best possible education and to hold Higher Education providers to account, but TEF fails to measure this effectively. We are proud to have stood with NUS and student unions across the country in nationally opposing TEF, including through our open letter to University Vice-Chancellors (published in the Guardian) and our high-profile campaign to boycott the National Student Survey. In line with our policy passed through OUSU Council in 2016, we did not share any OUSU-held data with the University for the TEF submission document.


As resolved in OUSU Council in 2016, our sabbatical officers are mandated to oppose TEF, to keep the student body informed of developments regarding TEF, and to lobby the University to work to mitigate against the impact of any fee increases on students. In light of this further development, we remain committed to these mandates and shall continue to drive them forward.


Please do get in contact if you are concerned about this development, or what the University’s opting in to TEF may mean for you, by emailing vpaccaff@ousu.ox.ac.uk.