Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Inquiry into quality assessment in Higher Education

View the consultation here.

Read the EPC’s response here.


The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee launched an inquiry into quality assessment in Higher Education (HE). The inquiry looked into proposed changes to quality assessment in universities and the potential impact of introducing a Teaching Excellence Framework.

The call for written submissions ran from September to October 2015. The BIS Committee was keen to hear views and welcomed written submissions which addressed the following questions:

(1) What issues with quality assessment in Higher Education was the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) Quality Assurance review seeking to address?

(2) Will the proposed changes to the quality assurance process in universities, as outlined by HEFCE in its consultation, improve quality in Higher Education?  

(3) What should be the objectives of a Teaching Excellence Framework (‘TEF’)?
a. How should a TEF benefit students? Academics? Universities?
b. What are the institutional behaviours a TEF should drive? How can a system be designed to avoid unintended consequences?
c. How should the effectiveness of the TEF be judged?

(4) How should the proposed TEF and new quality assurance regime fit together? 

(5) What do you think will be the main challenges in implementing a TEF? 

(6) How should the proposed connection between fee level and teaching quality be managed?
a. What should be the relationship between the TEF and fee level?
b. What are the benefits or risks of this approach to setting fees?

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