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Learning and teaching

We promote excellent teaching through our quality enhancement strategy.

We fund work with the Higher Education Academy to support the higher education (HE) community in order to enhance the quality and impact of learning and teaching. The Higher Education Academy also supports Future Directions, which includes the quality enhancement work being carried out in the Welsh HE sector. This work aims to enhance specific areas of the student learning experience, through encouraging academic and support staff, and students collectively to share current good practice and to generate ideas and models for innovation in learning and teaching. The current Future Directions theme is on retention, and is being co-ordinated by Universities Wales' Pro Vice-Chancellors Learning and Teaching Advisory Group.

Our Student Opportunity and Achievement Committee (SOAC) guides our work in this area.

We aim to ensure that all learners have access to a good quality learning experience. We also aspire to assist institutions in providing increased flexibility and accessibility of provision, including facilitating Welsh medium education and taking full account of equality and diversity.

TEF (Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework)


The UK Government has introduced a framework to recognise and reward excellent learning and teaching at the undergraduate level.

The TEF considers a range of metrics including datasets from the National Student Survey outcomes, non-completion rates, HESA and Destination of Leavers from Higher Education. The TEF is currently administered by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) on behalf of the Department for Education in England. Further information about TEF can be found on the HEFCE website, including the results of TEF year two which were published in June 2017.

Welsh higher education providers have been given the opportunity to apply for TEF on a similar basis to institutions in England. The TEF is not part of HEFCW’s responsibilities. It is a matter for eligible Welsh institutions to determine whether or not they wish to participate in Year Three of the TEF.

Details of the TEF Panel members have been published by HEFCE.

Additional steps have been taken to ensure that the Welsh context is fully reflected and understood in the TEF processes; these include bespoke training on the Welsh context and Welsh medium provision, and the provision of a brief contextual paper prepared by HEFCW in consultation with Universities Wales.

From April 2018 the responsibility of TEF is expected to transfer to the Office for Students which, as a result of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 passed in April 2017, will become the new public body with regulatory responsibilities for higher education in England; the new body will replace HEFCE and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

Alongside the assessments in TEF year 3, the Department for Education is undertaking a pilot exercise of subject level TEF assessments in 2017/18.

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