University of Essex Online receives outstanding Gold TEF rating

  • Date

    Wed 6 Jun 18

Student looking at iPad

University of Essex Online has achieved the highly prestigious gold rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) released today, placing the institution alongside other highly-ranked UK universities.

A provider taking part in the TEF is awarded gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

The TEF is designed for recognising excellent teaching, in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that University of Essex Online ‘delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK’.

The statement of findings taken from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) website declares that the provider metrics supplemented by the submission indicate that students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes. In particular the Panel noted that part-time student satisfaction with teaching and continuation are above the provider’s benchmark and that satisfaction with assessment and feedback and academic support are exceptionally high and above benchmark. Progression to employment, highly skilled employment or further study are consistent with the provider’s benchmarks. 

The Panel considered the provider’s submission and supplementary metrics, where appropriate, in relation to the TEF criteria and its judgement reflects, in particular, evidence of: 

  • integrated formative feedback in the programmes and a rapid turnaround of formative and summative marks 
  • course design and assessment practices that provide scope for high levels of stretch 
  • customised study plans and flexible approaches to the speed of study that support personalised learning 
  • strong pastoral support underpinned by effective use of learner analytics 
  • vocational programmes delivered by industry professionals that support progression to employment and high median earnings 

University of Essex Online is a partnership between Kaplan Open Learning and the University of Essex, which was also rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2017.

Nicola Pittman, Managing Director for University of Essex Online, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded a gold rating in the TEF awards. This achievement shows the dedication and commitment of our extremely hard-working team. We strive to provide first-class pastoral care and to promote a culture of excellence, and we are pleased that the judgement of the Panel and the statement of findings show clear evidence of the outstanding support that all of our students receive. We were determined to achieve the highest of ratings in the TEF awards and we are delighted with today’s news.

Professor Dominic Micklewright, Dean of Partnerships at the University of Essex, said: “We are delighted to be awarded gold which reflects the excellent educational experience our students enjoy through University of Essex Online. Our online degrees, delivered in partnership with Kaplan Open Learning, are among the highest-quality in the world. All of our online students receive one to one personalised support informed by learner analytics and they always receive feedback on assessed work within one week. We are delighted with our Gold award which follows our nomination for Digital Innovation of the Year at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2018.”

About University of Essex Online

University of Essex Online offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses online to both UK and international students, enabling them to benefit from a flexible approach to study while maintaining the quality and support of a top UK university. Courses are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) Limited, an experienced online learning provider, which has been working in partnership with the University of Essex since 2007.