The Teaching Excellence Framework 2023: Its Impact on International Student Recruitment

In the evolving landscape of higher education, institutions are consistently looking for ways to differentiate themselves and showcase their strengths. In the UK, one such metric that has gained prominence in recent years is the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Not only does the TEF play a pivotal role in domestic affairs of universities, but it also has significant implications for international student recruitment.

What is the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)?

The TEF is an assessment framework introduced by the UK government to evaluate the quality of teaching at higher education institutions in England. Although participation in the TEF is voluntary, institutions that do participate are rated as Gold, Silver, or Bronze based on various criteria like teaching quality, learning environment, and student outcomes.

The latest assessment, the second one since its birth, was completed and published to the public just last month (28th September 2023). Previously, the last assessment before that, took place in 2017, so the new published ratings are a great marketing tool and representation of universities for this academic year.

TEF’s Influence on International Student Recruitment

While the TEF was primarily designed with domestic students in mind, it carries significant weight in the international arena for several reasons:

Benchmark for Quality: The TEF provides an easily understandable benchmark for international students. With a vast array of global educational institutions to choose from, a Gold, Silver, or Bronze rating simplifies decision-making for students seeking quality education.

Marketing Advantage: For universities, a Gold or Silver TEF rating becomes a powerful marketing tool. It gives them a competitive edge in global education fairs, brochures, and digital campaigns.

Building Trust: International students and their families often face challenges in navigating the unfamiliar higher education systems of other countries. The TEF, backed by the UK government, offers a layer of trust, ensuring that the institution has been vetted and recognized for its teaching quality.

Influencing Partnership and Collaboration: The TEF rating also plays a role when universities form partnerships or collaborations with institutions in other countries. A high TEF rating can be seen as a stamp of quality, making collaborations smoother and more appealing.

Impact on Rankings and Perception: While global university rankings consider a plethora of factors, the perception created by the TEF ratings can influence the general view of an institution’s teaching prowess. Over time, this can affect how an institution is perceived in global rankings and listings.

In this blog entry, Ealoor Study Abroad UK would like to highlight three universities that have climbed the ratings since the last assessment and displayed to the TEF 2023 panel under the Office of Students, that they have excelled within the framework.

University of East London (UEL)

UEL proudly received a Silver rating in the TEF for 2023. This recognition is a nod to UEL’s unwavering efforts in offering top-tier education and fostering positive outcomes for its multifaceted student body. The university previously received a Bronze rating in the last rounds in 2017, so they have stepped up within the framework.  

Professor Amanda Broderick, UEL’s Vice-Chancellor and President, remarked,

“Earning the TEF 2023 Silver rating is an affirmation of our university’s continuous commitment to a holistic educational journey marked by inclusivity, growth, and achievement. Our institution is unwavering in its quest to shape an ecosystem where each student can thrive, while also moulding the diverse leaders of tomorrow for our collaborative partners.”

Solent University (Solent)

Solent were awarded with a Gold TEF rating, moving up from their previous rating of Silver. The TEF panel commended Solent’s student submission, crafted with the assistance of the University’s Students’ Union. This submission portrayed students as ‘committed, inquisitive, and ambitious individuals aiming to transform their lives through enhanced opportunities and experiences’.

Winston Alla, Solent Students’ Union President, says: “On behalf of Solent Students’ Union, I want to congratulate Solent University on receiving the triple Gold Award for their Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) submission.”

“We know there is more work to be done, both for the Students’ Union and the University. As your Students’ Union, we will continue to work together to improve the student experience for the better, which our members deserve.”

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU)

LJMU received a gold accolade for student results and a silver rating overall in the national Teaching Excellence Framework.

LJMU has been awarded:

·         Overall rating – SILVER

·         Student outcomes – GOLD

·         Student experience – SILVER

Professor Phil Vickerman, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), said: “I’m delighted with the TEF outcome for LJMU and it is important because it gives students, their families and external agencies confidence in the quality of teaching, learning and overall student experience at LJMU.

“The exceptional outcome reflects our commitment to excellence in all aspects of our students’ experience at LJMU, from the quality of our teaching and the curriculum to our provision of support around health, wellbeing and careers.

“Thank you to all staff for helping to deliver such a positive experience for our students. We must now endeavour to improve further and aim to achieve overall TEF gold next time.”


To make an application to any of these universities, our team at Ealoor Study Abroad Uk are ready to help. Our consultants will guide you to choose the best course available depending on your interests, skills, aptitude, and future career prospects. Contact us today to discuss your future!


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