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Activate Learning rated ‘Silver’ for higher education teaching excellence

Activate Learning is proud to announce that its higher education provision has been awarded TEF Silver as part of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The TEF - the first scheme of its kind - recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK’s world-class higher education sector and measures teaching excellence in three key areas:

Teaching quality: teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies

Learning environment: the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.

Student outcomes: the extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The TEF Panel findings for Activate Learning highlight excellent progression “…students achieve excellent outcomes. Progression to employment or further study is notably above benchmark and, for highly skilled employment exceeds the benchmark for some full-time students.”

The finding also drew attention to the high levels of student satisfaction: “The metrics also indicate very high levels of satisfaction with teaching on my course, academic support, and assessment and feedback, particularly for some groups of full-time students.”

The TEF Panel found that there was evidence of:

  • strategic partnerships with local employers to develop tailored programmes in both public and private sectors
  • curriculum design that provides scope for high level of stretch to enable students to progress and develop transferable and professional skills that are highly valued by employers
  • a culture of personalised learning in which academic experiences are tailored to support the needs of individual students, including mature learners who find return to study challenging
  • an embedded institutional culture that supports academic and professional development and the sharing of good practice, including the ‘pass it on’ initiative and the establishment of biannual higher education conferences to share best practice

The TEF awards are decided by an independent panel of experts, including academics, students and employer representatives. Universities and colleges are assessed against a set of measures which use national data and evidence submitted by the university or college.

Each provider was rated Gold, Silver or Bronze, or received a Provisional award where there was not enough data for a full assessment.

The results and the underlying evidence will help students thinking about which university or college to apply to for autumn 2018, and encourage teaching and learning excellence across the UK.

Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said:

“Students invest significant amounts of time and money in their higher education. They rightly expect a high-quality learning experience and outcomes that reflect their potential. The UK already has a high bar for quality and standards, which all universities and colleges must meet. But the TEF judges excellence above and beyond this, clearly showing the highest levels across the sector.

“The TEF measures the things that students themselves say they care about: high-quality, engaged teaching and a supportive, stimulating learning environment which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential, and then to progress to a good job or further study.”

Bill Hunt, Director of Higher Education at Activate Learning said: “'Activate Learning is delighted to have received a Silver award in recognition of the quality of teaching and support provided to its higher education students.  The excellent progression rates to employment are testimony to the focus we have on developing students' employability skills in partnership with employers.”

The TEF results and the evidence used in the assessment can be found at The TEF awards will also be published on Unistats and the UCAS website, alongside other information, to help inform prospective students’ choices.