The Teaching Excellence Framework

The Teaching Excellence Framework at Arden University

At Arden University, our commitment to delivering high-quality education is at the forefront of everything we do. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national initiative that provides valuable insights into the quality of the undergraduate student experience.

As a relatively new higher education institution, Arden received our first TEF results in 2023, measuring our first four years of delivering full-time undergraduate degrees between the period 2015/16 to 2019-20.

This page will provide you with an overview of the TEF, and shed light on the exciting developments happening at Arden University.

What is the TEF?

The Teaching Excellence Framework is a periodic assessment conducted by the Office for Students (OfS) every four years. Distinct from Ofted reports assessing standards in primary and secondary schools across the UK, the TEF is a rating of excellence above required standards. It serves three primary purposes:

1. Evaluate the Quality of the Student Experience: evaluates the overall quality of the undergraduate student experience at higher education institutions.
2. Incentivise Improvement and Excellence: encourages universities to continuously enhance their teaching and learning methods.
3. Inform Student Choices: provides prospective students with valuable information to make informed decisions about their education.

All higher education providers in England with at least 500 undergraduate students must take part in the TEF. Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to take part on a voluntary basis.

What Data is Used?

TEF ratings are derived from a thorough evaluation process, including:

1. TEF Indicator Data: Over the past four academic years (2015-16 to 2019-20 for the 2023 assessment), contributing no more than half of the evidence of excellence. 
2. Mandatory Provider Submission: A comprehensive overview of the university, focusing on student experience and outcomes.
3. Optional Student Submission: Additional insights from students.

Arden University TEF rating 2023

In these, our first TEF results, Arden University was rated as requires improvement to meet the benchmark of excellence. As a new University, the current TEF assessment period covered our first four years of providing full-time undergraduate degrees, and we are committed to continuously raising our benchmark to the highest standards possible, as we have been since our founding.

An Overview of the TEF at Arden

Officially established in 2015, Arden University received Indefinite Degree Awarding Powers in 2021. Although our current TEF ratings do not include data from 2020 to 2024, we have implemented robust academic and student support structures during this period.

The current TEF assessment period, spanning from 2015-16 to 2019-2020, marked the initial phase of our journey in offering full-time undergraduate degrees. During this period, we made substantial investments in improving teaching methods and enhancing student support.

Importantly, these efforts have continued and expanded beyond the assessed timeframe. At Arden University, we are committed to investing in improving student outcomes and experiences. Over the past three years, our university-wide continuation rates have risen by 10%, while our largest student cohort, the Foundation Degree group, saw continuation rates rise from 63.9% to 74.2% between the academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

These positive trends underscore our dedication to fostering an environment that goes above and beyond to support academic success.

Looking Ahead

As we move forward, Arden University is dedicated to embracing the ethos of TEF to continually improve the student experience. Our focus remains on providing excellence in teaching, learning, and student outcomes, tailored to our diverse student body and courses.
Explore our commitment to educational excellence through real-world case studies that showcase teaching and learning initiatives at Arden University.