Edge Hill University has achieved Gold, the highest rating in the national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), for delivering ‘consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’.

The Gold award – which has been given to only three Universities in the North West – indicates that teaching at Edge Hill is of ‘the highest quality found in the UK.’

The TEF was introduced by the Government to build evidence about the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector, complementing the existing Research Excellence Framework with an analysis of teaching and learning outcomes.

The awards were decided by an independent TEF Panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives.

The TEF measures teaching excellence in three key areas:

Teaching quality: teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies.

Learning environment: the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.

Student outcomes: the extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The specific findings for Edge Hill University indicate that “students from diverse backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”, and that “very high proportions of students continue with their studies and progress to employment or further study.” The findings also acknowledge “very high levels of student satisfaction with ‘teaching on my course’ and outstanding levels of satisfaction with ‘assessment and feedback’, and ‘academic support’, notably exceeding the provider benchmark.”

Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University said: “I am delighted that Edge Hill’s strategic focus on employability and nurturing institutional culture has been recognised with a Gold rating from the TEF panel. Colleagues from across the University all play a part in achieving and maintaining this Gold standard and I am grateful to every one of them.”

Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said: “Students invest significant amounts of time and money in their higher education. They rightly expect a high-quality learning experience and outcomes that reflect their potential. The UK already has a high bar for quality and standards, which all universities and colleges must meet. But the TEF judges excellence above and beyond this, clearly showing the highest levels across the sector.

“The TEF measures the things that students themselves say they care about: high-quality, engaged teaching and a supportive, stimulating learning environment which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential, and then to progress to a good job or further study.”