It’s here now, but what is it? And where is it going?

  • Is the TEF a good idea?
  • Is this the right way to implement it?
  • How will it affect us as champions of effective education?

Read as much or as little as you want to, and feel free to recommend other articles. We suggest you read at least items 1, 2, 3 and 4. Section 5 has a range of optional readings.

1. Start with this for an overview of the topic:

Chris Havergal. “Higher education White Paper: key points at a glance” THE

2. Now for the white paper itself – just read the executive summary to get a richer feel for the TEF.

BIS, UK government. “Higher education: success as a knowledge economy”: Executive summary p.7 – 17

3. A consideration of the use of metrics in Higher Education:

David Morris. “Nothing either good or bad, but TEF can make it so.” WONKHE blog post.

4. Arguing against the TEF:

Stefan Collini. “Who are the spongers now?” London Review of Books.

(Based on the green paper, “Fulfilling Our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice”, but the arguments also apply to the white paper.)

5. Optional reading: Other perspectives on the TEF

Jo Johnson MP. “Teaching at the heart of the system” (speech at Universities UK).

(In favour of TEF: how it will widen participation and drive up teaching quality:)

William Davies. “The Higher Education White Paper: Euphemisms for Destruction”. The Sociological Review.

(A polemical dismantling of the white paper: “Why do you hate universities so much?”)

Joshua Forstenzer. “The Teaching Excellence Framework: What’s The Purpose?”. University of Sheffield report.

(Considers three criticisms: TEF does not measure teaching excellence; TEF does not serve
students; TEF ignores the wider public benefit of education.)

Chris Jutting. “What the experts make of the higher education white paper”. The Guardian.

(A summary of initial responses across the HE sector.)

Chris Havergal. “Mock TEF results revealed: a new hierarchy emerges”. THE

(How modelling the outcomes of the TEF reveals a new group of ‘elite’ institutions.)

David Maguire. “The Teaching Excellence Framework: good idea, but can it be implemented?”. University of Greenwich blog post.

Mark Leach. “The incredible machine: Our visual guide to the TEF”. WONKHE blog post.

Andrew McGettigan. “10 things you might have missed about the Green Paper”. WONKHE blog post.

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