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Teaching Excellence Framework

Male and female student chatting and smiling in seminar

We have been awarded a silver rating in the UK Government's new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

TEF aims to recognise, reward and improve excellent teaching in higher education.

The TEF panel noted that at Cardiff University “students from all backgrounds achieve excellent outcomes” and “very high proportions of students continue with their studies and progress to employment, highly skilled employment or further study”.

Silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework
A silver classification means that we deliver high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

The panel highlighted evidence of good practice at Cardiff University including:

  • Course design and assessment practices which provide scope for high levels of stretch that ensures all students are significantly challenged.
  • An institutional culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching through promotion opportunities, staff development and awards schemes.
  • The direct engagement of students with developments at the forefront of research, scholarship and practice. Students receive discipline-relevant research training to enrich the learning experience
  • Excellent personalised support which is tailored to the individual student through personal tutors and which enhances retention and progression for students from all backgrounds.

Our assessment

University assessments focus on teaching quality, the learning environment, and student outcomes. Assessments draw on a range of data, including National Student Survey results, graduate employability outcomes, retention rates and widening participation data.

TEF submissions are assessed by a review panel including academics, employers and students.

Our TEF narrative submission

Cardiff University's submission to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), January 2017.

Our strengths

We are committed to providing outstanding student experience and the very highest teaching and learning quality. We take pride in our students benefiting from interaction with world-leading researchers in excellent facilities. Some of the strengths that we detailed in our TEF submission included supporting teaching excellence, campus investment, global mobility, research-led learning, good retention rates and ensuring our graduates are work-ready.

Teaching quality

Dental students working in our £2.2m clinical skills laboratory
Dental students working in our £2.2m clinical skills laboratory

We ensure our students are challenged and stretched with research-led learning and teaching that is intellectually demanding.

We encourage and support academic staff to develop their teaching and research throughout their careers. Teaching excellence is expected and is part of our requirements for academic career progression. We have clear expectations for staff to engage in teaching and student-related activities as part of their core work.

The feedback from the latest National Student Survey indicates high overall levels of satisfaction among our students. The 2016 survey found 87% of our students were satisfied with their overall experience of studying at the University.

Learning environment

We are investing hundreds of millions of pounds to provide our students with world-class facilities as part of our largest campus upgrade in a generation. A £600m capital investment programme across the University over 10 years, including £260m in student facilities, is helping us to offer an excellent student experience.

One of our most ambitious projects is to create a £50m Centre for Student Life to provide a central hub for our student support services. It will also offer modern, flexible social learning spaces and a 550-seat lecture theatre.

Our investment has already delivered state-of-the-art buildings for teaching and learning, and student accommodation. We are also investing £40m over several years to refurbish our existing teaching and learning facilities.

  • 1,000 student representatives
  • 94% in employment or further study
  • 87% student satisfaction

Student outcomes and learning gain

In 2015/16, 82% of our undergraduates qualified with a first or 2:1 honours degree, and 14% went on to postgraduate study, of whom 55% chose to remain at Cardiff University putting us fifth in the Russell Group in terms of retention of undergraduates for further study.

Our graduates remain among the most sought-after by employers. According to Higher Education Statistics Agency figures, the percentage of full-time first degree leavers in 2014/15 who were employed, studying or both was 94%. Cardiff University remains above the UK (93.9%), England (93.8%) and Wales (93.2%) average.

We equip our graduates with entrepreneurial skills and lead the Russell Group for active numbers of graduate start-ups.

Our students are directly involved in much of the decision-making that affects them. We have more than 1,000 student representatives that speak on behalf of students across the University.

We are pleased that our teaching quality and student experience have been judged to be of good quality, and are keen to learn lessons from participation in TEF to further improve.