English universities to be ranked gold, silver and bronze

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.”

 More at: English universities to be ranked gold, silver and bronze

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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Comments

  1. gov2

    Is there a colour for dumb?  Some sort of visual acknowledgement of having consumed so many idiot pills that you can be a government minister.

  2. andrew_1910

    SchoolsImprove The TEF is a deranged piece of idiocy. Just surprised they have an ‘Eddie the Eagle’ one as well.

  3. As noted above, none of the indicators assess actual teaching.  Dropout rates may have nothing to do with the teaching: students change their mind; they can struggle financially; they may become ill;  there may be family commitments.  Student satisfaction surveys can be unreliable.  They could be based on entertainment value or how ‘bored’ the student was,  Would a lecturer who spoon fed students be rated higher than one who expected students to make some effort?   Employment rates are similarly unreliable – this is judging unis on decisions made by graduates and on the employment market.
    There’s a danger that graduates will be judged on the colour associated with the uni they attended rather than the quality of their degree.  It’s inevitable that ‘bronze’ degrees will be perceived as inferior to ‘gold’ degrees.

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