The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has published its first Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings for higher education institutions as part of the new Teaching Excellence Framework. The University of Liverpool has received a Bronze rating.
The ratings are based partly on an analysis of publicly available data about students’ reported experience of their time at university, graduate outcomes and non-continuation rates.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Janet Beer, said: “Staff throughout our University are working hard to enable our students to have a great experience here and go on to achieve success in their chosen fields. In that context the Bronze rating awarded to the University is of course disappointing.
“There is much to celebrate about our University, which is consistently named in the top 200 globally. Our graduates remain amongst the brightest and the best, with the latest data published only last week showing their earnings are in the top quartile nationally, despite geographic disadvantages, and also comparing very favourably with other North West institutions.
“We also have many other attributes – which aren’t reflected in the TEF – that continue to make the University a popular choice for students, including access for people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to go to university.
“The TEF itself is the subject of much debate and will be subject to an independent review over the next few years. There are particular concerns about how the complex assessment process works and how this affects the rating of institutions like ours, with some results that many people will find surprising.
“Nonetheless, we’re committed to improving against the measures used in the TEF and building on the improvement in student satisfaction we’ve seen over each of the last three years. We’ll continue to invest heavily in improving teaching, facilities and the extra-curricular activities on offer here to offer a world-class university experience in a world-class city.”
The Government says the TEF will help to inform students’ choices about where to study, as well as raising the profile of good teaching and, in turn, encouraging institutions to better meet the needs of employers. It is proposed that performance in the TEF will be linked to institutions’ ability to increase tuition fees from 2020 onwards, before which it will be subject to an independent review.