Times Higher Education: Should tuition fees be linked to TEF performance? The case for and against

Following the recent debate in the House of Lords where peers voted in favour of two amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill, including one which proposed to break the link between the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and fees, UA Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell has written for THE.

In the article, Maddalaine sets out the case for linking fees with the TEF, so that it is ‘more likely to ensure that students get the high-quality education they are paying for’.

At the moment, universities acquire prestige largely through the quality of their research. Those with the highest volume tend to do very well in league tables.

Many students, however, are more interested in the quality of their course and whether it will help them get a good job.

The government is hoping that its teaching excellence framework will prompt universities to pay the same attention to the quality of their teaching as their research. Institutions that score highly will not only get reputational benefits but will also be allowed to raise their tuition fees, although not by more than inflation.

She also adds, that the Department for Education has promised to keep improving the TEF in consultation with universities.

“So the Higher Education and Research Bill should not be used to try to kill off the TEF. Nor to remove the financial incentives. Universities need to maintain investment in their courses – and students need to know that they will benefit,” Maddalaine concludes.

You can read the article in full here.

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