University of Southampton Awarded Silver Teaching Excellence Framework Rating


The University has been awarded a silver rating by the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Panel.

The silver TEF award, which is valid for up to three years, comes after Southampton’s recent rise to 20th in the Complete University Guide rankings and 23rd in the Guardian University League Tables.

In its assessment of the University’s written submission and metrics for 2018, the TEF panel recognised evidence of the University’s performance in a number of areas, including:

  • Support for all new undergraduates through their transition to higher education
  • Strategic commitment to enhancing the quality of teaching
  • Learning environment in which students participate actively in research
  • Investment in physical and digital resources supporting student learning
  • Excellent student continuation and progression rates
  • Effective support and initiatives focused on employability

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, commented:

We are very pleased to receive the Silver TEF award, recognising the work of our dedicated staff who are committed to delivering an excellent educational experience in a stimulating research-informed environment, together with the strong engagement of our student community.

We are also very grateful to the many staff and students throughout the institution who directly contributed to our TEF submission and to our Students’ Union whose contributions were vital to our success.

‘For our students and graduates, the Silver award is assurance that their experience at the University of Southampton will translate into excellent graduate outcomes’, he added.

SUSU President, Flora Noble, said in an all-staff email:

It’s so fantastic to see that we have been awarded a Silver TEF.

Whilst we recognise there’s much more improvement to come, it’s testament to the hard work being done by Academics, Professional Services staff, and in particular students…Silver TEF is just the beginning!

The TEF, which was developed by the Department for Education, rates the teaching quality of Higher Education institutions in the UK by ranking them as gold, silver or bronze. Awarded by the Office for Students, the ratings are judged by an independent panel composed of students, academics and experts.

In 2017 (the TEF’s pilot year), the University was given the lowest (Bronze) TEF ranking. Both SUSU and the University criticised the the rankings at the time and said that they would appeal the decision.

At the time, Professor Snowden said the TEF appeared ‘devoid of any meaningful assessment of teaching’ and that he had concerns about its ‘subjective assessment’ and ‘lack of transparency’.

Details of the University’s TEF submission and award for 2018 can be accessed here.


Deputy Editor 2017-18, International Editor 2015-17. Languages graduate interested in Latin America, world news, media and politics.

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