It’s official, University Centre Weston (UCW) is among the best places to study at university level in the UK, according to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) published on September 28th 2023.
The TEF panel considered the overall rating for UCW to be Gold, placing it among the country’s best university and college higher education providers. This recognition by the TEF Panel reflects UCW’s unwavering dedication to providing outstanding education to a diverse student body and places it within the top 20% in the UK and one of only six colleges nationally to achieve the status.
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national scheme run by the Office for Students (OfS) that aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.
The TEF does this by assessing and rating universities and colleges for excellence above a set of minimum requirements for quality and standards.
Providers that take part in the TEF receive an overall rating as well as two underpinning ratings – one for the student experience and one for student outcomes.
The ratings reflect the extent to which a provider delivers an excellent experience and outcomes for its mix of undergraduate students and across the range of its undergraduate courses and subjects.
Hundreds of higher education institutions in England, Wales and Scotland have had their teaching quality, learning environment, and student outcome data assessed by the TEF Panel and rated as either Gold, Silver, Bronze or Requires Improvement.
The TEF Panel judged that UCW delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students, which is of the highest quality found in Britain.
Jacqui Ford, Interim Principal and Chief Executive of the Weston College Group expressed her delight, saying,
“This achievement represents a significant milestone for our region, confirming the excellence of our institution for higher education. Furthermore, it underscores the Weston College Group’s positive impact on learners both locally and nationally. Attaining Gold status also validates UCW’s approach of seamlessly blending high-quality academic learning with practical, career-oriented education, providing our students and university partners with confidence in our offerings.”
Ford extended her gratitude to the dedicated staff at UCW, Weston College, and partner universities, recognising their instrumental role in achieving this remarkable status. She noted:
“Our journey to this point would not have been possible without the invaluable support of my predecessor Sir Paul Phillips who led the Weston College Group since 2001 until his retirement in August 2023, our partner universities, the University of the West of England, Bath Spa University, and Hartpury University, as well as UCW’s Vice Principal for Higher Education, Sadie Skellon. The dedication of our staff, and governors, and the collaborative efforts with the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and North Somerset Council have also been essential in reaching this remarkable achievement.”
UCW’s Vice Principal for Higher Education, Sadie Skellon added:
“The TEF Panel has recognised the efforts of the talented and dedicated students and staff that we have at UCW and across the Weston College Group, and the value of the outstanding support we provide.
“UCW is committed to being an inclusive institution, promoting participation from students from all backgrounds and supporting students to ensuring positive outcomes for all. We have strategic aims to articulate this and are pleased the OfS has acknowledged that UCW ‘tailors provision and succeeds in its aim of supporting underrepresented groups of students from its region to achieve in their studies’.
In addition to praise for the student experience, UCW was praised for its supportive learning environment, offering students access to a wide range of high-quality academic support tailored to their needs. The institution has also demonstrated a commitment to embedding employability and entrepreneurship into its course content, preparing students for successful futures.
UCW’s dedication to research, innovation, scholarship, professional practice, and employer engagement further enhances the academic experience, contributing to the institution’s outstanding standing in the TEF.
This Gold rating in the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework solidifies UCW’s status as a leading institution committed to excellence in higher education.