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Student News

Top unis rated ‘bronze’ in government’s new ranking system

Some of the UK’s leading universities have failed to get top marks in the Teaching Excellence Framework results, which were released today. How did your uni fair?
TEF rankings results
You know that gut-wrenching feeling you get when your exam results come through and they’re not as good as you were expecting?

Well, today the tables have turned and it’s the unis themselves that’ll be waiting for an acceptable time to hit the pub and drown their sorrows (or, in some cases, celebrate a better-than-expected result!).

The results of the government’s controversial new rankings system have been released, and it’s bad news for some of the UK’s top universities.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which the government just introduced this year, assesses universities using criteria such as dropout rates, graduate employment levels and student satisfaction, in order to help students make more informed choices about which uni to go to (in theory!).

However, the government also revealed plans to use the TEF results to increase tuition fees each year, which most of you told us you opposed.

Many students also chose to boycott the National Student Survey (which was used to assess student satisfaction in the rankings) in protest, and even the House of Lords unexpectedly voted against the link between TEF and uni fees, which has resulted in the link being delayed until 2020.

TEF results biggest shocks

TEF results shock295 universities across the UK opted into TEF, but only 59 of those received a gold award, whereas 116 got silver and 56 received bronze.

One of the biggest shocks of the results was the London School of Economics being given the lowest rating despite ranking second in the world for social sciences in the QS global uni rankings.

Russell group unis Liverpool and Southampton will also be feeling the pressure today, as they were awarded bronze, whilst new unis such as Coventry and Nottingham Trent got gold!

Are the TEF results reliable?

lecture hallThe introduction of TEF has been really controversial for a number of reasons, and whilst the rankings shouldn't be ignored completely, our position (like many of those in Higher Education) is that the results should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

The reason for this is that the rankings are rely solely on data rather than inspections of lectures or assessed teaching. This means that results can be pretty crude - particularly when there’s only three awards involved!

TEF have even clarified that although a university might rank bronze, it might have elements of gold, and likewise a gold-awarded university might’ve scored bronze in some areas.

Nick Hillman, Director of Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), has said:

I hope university applicants will use the results in their decision-making - but they should do so with caution.

Oh, and in case you're interested in knowing which universities opted out of TEF...

TEF university rankings

University of Abertay DundeeSilver
ABI College LimitedProvisional
Abingdon and Witney CollegeSilver
The Academy of Contemporary Music LimitedProvisional
Access to Music LimitedProvisional
Accrington and Rossendale CollegeBronze
Activate LearningSilver
Amersham & Wycombe CollegeBronze
Anglia Ruskin UniversitySilver
Anglo-European College of ChiropracticSilver
Architectural Association (Incorporated)Provisional
The Arts University BournemouthGold
University of the Arts, LondonSilver
Askham Bryan CollegeBronze
Assemblies of God IncorporatedProvisional
Aston UniversityGold
Aylesbury CollegeBronze
Bangor UniversityGold
The University of BathGold
Bath Spa UniversitySilver
University of BedfordshireSilver
BIMM LimitedProvisional
Birkbeck CollegeSilver
The University of BirminghamGold
University College BirminghamSilver
Birmingham City UniversitySilver
Bishop Burton CollegeBronze
Bishop Grosseteste UniversityGold
Blackburn CollegeBronze
Blackpool and the Fylde CollegeGold
BMC (Brooksby Melton College)Bronze
The University of BoltonSilver
Bournemouth UniversitySilver
Bournville CollegeProvisional
BPP University LimitedBronze
The University of BradfordSilver
Bradford CollegeBronze
University of BrightonSilver
University of BristolSilver
Bristol Baptist CollegeProvisional
Brit College LimitedProvisional
The British School of OsteopathyBronze
Brunel University LondonSilver
The University of BuckinghamGold
Buckinghamshire New UniversityBronze
Calderdale CollegeSilver
University of CambridgeGold
Cambridge Regional CollegeBronze
Canterbury Christ Church UniversitySilver
Canterbury CollegeSilver
Cardiff Metropolitan UniversitySilver
Cardiff UniversitySilver
Cardinal Newman CollegeProvisional
University of Central LancashireSilver
University of ChesterSilver
The University of ChichesterSilver
Chichester CollegeSilver
The Chicken Shed Theatre TrustSilver
Cirencester CollegeProvisional
City and Guilds of London Art School LimitedProvisional
City College PlymouthGold
City of Bristol CollegeSilver
The City of Liverpool CollegeGold
City, University of LondonSilver
Cleveland College of Art and DesignGold
Colchester InstituteSilver
The Conservatoire for Dance and DramaGold
Cornwall CollegeSilver
Courtauld Institute of ArtSilver
Coventry UniversityGold
University for the Creative ArtsSilver
Croydon CollegeProvisional
The University of CumbriaBronze
Darlington CollegeSilver
De Montfort UniversityGold
University of DerbyGold
Doncaster CollegeBronze
University of DundeeGold
University of DurhamSilver
Ealing, Hammersmith & West London CollegeProvisional
The University of East AngliaSilver
East Durham CollegeSilver
East End Computing & Business College LimitedProvisional
East Kent CollegeProvisional
University of East LondonBronze
East Riding CollegeBronze
Edge Hill UniversityGold
The Edward James Foundation LimitedProvisional
The University of EssexGold
University College of Estate ManagementProvisional
University of ExeterGold
Exeter CollegeGold
Fairfield School of Business LtdProvisional
Falmouth UniversityGold
Fareham CollegeProvisional
Farnborough College of TechnologyBronze
Furness CollegeSilver
Futureworks Training LimitedProvisional
Gateshead CollegeSilver
University of GloucestershireSilver
Goldsmiths CollegeBronze
Grafton College LimitedProvisional
Greater Brighton Metropolitan CollegeSilver
University of GreenwichSilver
Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher EducationBronze
Guildhall School of Music & DramaSilver
Hadlow CollegeBronze
Halesowen CollegeSilver
Harper Adams UniversityGold
Hartlepool College of Further EducationSilver
Hartpury CollegeGold
Heart of Worcestershire CollegeSilver
Hereford College of ArtsSilver
Heriot-Watt UniversitySilver
Hertford Regional CollegeSilver
University of HertfordshireSilver
Highbury College PortsmouthBronze
Holy Cross CollegeProvisional
Hopwood Hall CollegeBronze
The University of HuddersfieldGold
Hugh Baird CollegeGold
The University of HullSilver
Hull CollegeBronze
Hy Education LimitedProvisional
ICMP Management LimitedProvisional
Imperial College LondonGold
Kaplan Open Learning (Essex) LimitedSilver
University of KeeleGold
Kensington Education Foundation LimitedProvisional
The University of KentGold
The Kingham Hill TrustProvisional
King's College LondonSilver
Kingston CollegeSilver
Kingston Maurward CollegeBronze
Kingston UniversityBronze
Kirklees CollegeSilver
KLC LimitedProvisional
The University of LancasterGold
The University of Law LimitedGold
The University of LeedsGold
Leeds Beckett UniversitySilver
Leeds City CollegeBronze
Leeds College of ArtSilver
Leeds Trinity UniversitySilver
The University of LeicesterSilver
Leicester CollegeGold
University of LincolnGold
Lincoln CollegeSilver
The University of LiverpoolBronze
Liverpool Hope UniversityGold
The Liverpool Institute for Performing ArtsGold
Liverpool John Moores UniversitySilver
University College LondonSilver
London Bridge Business Academy LimitedProvisional
London College of Creative Media LimitedProvisional
The London Institute of Banking & FinanceProvisional
London Metropolitan UniversityBronze
London School of Business and Management LimitedProvisional
The London School of Economics and Political ScienceBronze
London School of Management Education LimitedProvisional
London School of Science & Technology LimitedProvisional
London School of TheologyProvisional
London South Bank UniversitySilver
London Studio Centre LimitedSilver
Loughborough CollegeSilver
Loughborough UniversityGold
Luther King House Educational TrustProvisional
Macclesfield CollegeProvisional
The University of ManchesterSilver
LTE GroupSilver
Manchester Metropolitan UniversitySilver
Met Film School LimitedProvisional
Middlesbrough CollegeGold
Middlesex UniversitySilver
Milton Keynes CollegeBronze
Moorlands CollegeProvisional
Myerscough CollegeSilver
Nazarene Theological CollegeProvisional
Neath Port Talbot CollegeSilver
Nelson College London LimitedProvisional
New College DurhamBronze
New College StamfordSilver
Newbury CollegeProvisional
University of Newcastle upon TyneGold
Newham College of Further EducationProvisional
Newman UniversitySilver
Norland College LimitedProvisional
North East Surrey College of TechnologyBronze
North Hertfordshire CollegeSilver
North Lindsey CollegeSilver
North West Regional CollegeProvisional
The University of NorthamptonGold
Northampton CollegeSilver
Northern College of AcupunctureProvisional
Northumberland CollegeBronze
University of Northumbria at NewcastleSilver
Norwich University of the ArtsGold
The University of NottinghamGold
Nottingham Trent UniversityGold
Oaklands CollegeSilver
The School of Oriental and African StudiesBronze
University of OxfordGold
Oxford Brookes UniversitySilver
Oxford Business College UK LimitedProvisional
Pearson College LimitedProvisional
Plumpton CollegeBronze
University of PlymouthBronze
Plymouth College of ArtBronze
Point Blank LimitedProvisional
University of PortsmouthGold
Preston CollegeBronze
Queen Mary University of LondonSilver
The Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Theological EducationProvisional
The University of ReadingSilver
Reaseheath CollegeBronze
Redcar & Cleveland CollegeSilver
RNN GroupSilver
The Robert Gordon UniversityGold
Roehampton UniversityBronze
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and PerformanceGold
The Royal Academy of MusicGold
The Royal Agricultural UniversitySilver
The Royal Central School of Speech and DramaGold
Royal College of MusicGold
Royal Holloway, University of LondonSilver
Royal Northern College of MusicGold
The Royal Veterinary CollegeGold
RTC Education LtdProvisional
SAE Education LimitedProvisional
The University of SalfordBronze
Salford City CollegeBronze
The Salvation ArmyProvisional
Selby CollegeSilver
The University of SheffieldSilver
Sheffield Hallam UniversitySilver
Solihull College and University CentreGold
South & City College BirminghamSilver
South Devon CollegeGold
South Tyneside CollegeSilver
South West CollegeProvisional
University of SouthamptonBronze
Southampton Solent UniversityBronze
Southport CollegeBronze
Sparsholt CollegeSilver
Spurgeon's CollegeProvisional
University of St AndrewsGold
University of St Mark & St JohnSilver
St Mary's University, TwickenhamSilver
St. George's, University of LondonBronze
Staffordshire UniversitySilver
Stockton Riverside CollegeSilver
Stratford College London LimitedProvisional
Strode CollegeSilver
University of SuffolkBronze
University of SunderlandSilver
Sunderland CollegeSilver
The University of SurreyGold
University of SussexSilver
Sussex Coast College HastingsProvisional
Sussex Downs CollegeSilver
Swansea UniversitySilver
Teesside UniversitySilver
Tertiary Education Services LimitedProvisional
Tresham College of Further and Higher EducationProvisional
Trinity College (Bristol) LimitedProvisional
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and DanceBronze
Truro and Penwith CollegeGold
Tyne Metropolitan CollegeBronze
UCK LimitedProvisional
UK College of Business and Computing LtdProvisional
Wakefield CollegeSilver
University of Wales Trinity Saint DavidBronze
The University of WarwickSilver
Warwickshire CollegeBronze
West Herts CollegeGold
West Kent and Ashford CollegeSilver
The University of West LondonSilver
University of the West of England, BristolSilver
The University of WestminsterBronze
Weston College of Further and Higher EducationGold
Wigan and Leigh CollegeSilver
Wiltshire CollegeBronze
University of WinchesterSilver
University of WolverhamptonBronze
University of WorcesterSilver
Wrexham Glyndwr UniversitySilver
Writtle University CollegeBronze
University of YorkSilver
York CollegeSilver
York St John UniversityBronze
Katie Paterson

WRITTEN BY Katie Paterson

Katie Paterson is an accomplished writer from Glasgow. She studied English Literature at the University of Strathclyde, then went on to do a Research Masters in Literature at the University of Amsterdam. As Lead Editor for Save the Student, Katie has covered topics from career tips to ways to make money go further as a student.
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