The Guardian is reporting that students in England will take their pick from gold, silver and bronze universities after the government said it would create new league tables based on teaching quality.
The new ratings form part of the government’s teaching excellence framework (Tef) and will come into force from the middle of next year, with universities given a year’s grace period before the rankings dictate their ability to raise tuition fees.
The Department for Education, which has taken over responsibility for administering the framework, said the ratings would be available for students applying to start university in the autumn next year.
Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said: “The framework will give students clear, understandable information about where the best teaching is on offer and for the first time place teaching quality on a par with research at our universities.”
The rankings will be awarded by a panel of assessors, will last for up to three years and will be based on statistics including dropout rates, student satisfaction survey results and graduate employment rates, including the proportion of graduates who go on to work in high-skill jobs. Some critics argue that none of the indicators directly measure teaching quality.
Maddalaine Ansell, chief executive of the University Alliance group, welcomed several aspects of the government’s announcement but added: “We think the merits of a highly skilled employment metric and a medals-style ratings system will need to be tested. The trial year will be vital to getting this right.”
Do you think this new system of grading universities is a good idea? Will this make it clearer for students to see the quality of the University? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. ~ Sophie
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