The University of Cumbria has been awarded bronze by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which today released the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
Almost 300 universities and colleges took part in the scheme introduced in 2016 by the government to recognise and reward excellence in teaching
The TEF results are based on data contained in the National Student Survey, student retention rates collected by the Higher Education Statistics Agency and the Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DHLE) survey.
Cumbria’s bronze award shows the university is ‘delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.’
HEFCE’s Statement of Findings for the University of Cumbria highlights:
- most students achieve good outcomes
- high proportions of students’ progress to employment and further study
- performance in the area of student satisfaction is below benchmark
- progression to highly skilled employment is notably below benchmark.
The university welcomes the TEF findings which recognise:
- course design and assessment practices that ensure most students acquire knowledge, skills and understanding that are valued by employers
- a range of high quality employability initiatives, including partnerships with local employers, to provide placements and volunteering opportunities
- examples of student engagement with work at the forefront of research, scholarship or practice
- an institutional culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards high quality teaching.
“Ten years ago the university was established to help meet a recognised skills gap in Cumbria and it has been pleasing to see year on year increases in the number of graduates in employment or further study and in highly skilled employment or further study,” Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell commented. “In the most recent Destination of Leavers of Higher Education survey the university achieved the second highest percentage nationally, with 97% of graduates being employed or in further study within six months of graduation. We’re working hard to improve progression to highly skilled, graduate employment. In the county of Cumbria, 37% of the population in employment are in ‘highly skilled’ jobs, compared with 45.2% for England as a whole. North Lancashire and East London are similarly below the national averages in terms of access to graduate-level jobs. A very high percentage of our students who study for degrees with an associated professional registration/recognition, such as in teaching, policing or health related subjects, gain ‘highly skilled’ employment within six months of graduation. Through our continued focus on student success and outcomes we are confident we will see this figure increase in the next survey."
The university’s commitment to excellence in learning and teaching is also reflected in above sector averages for staff holding academic teaching qualifications (76% against 44% sector benchmark, source HESA) and staff achieving Higher Education Academy Fellowships.
“In the week the university hosted designer and environmental activist Vivienne Westwood, released details of research work to examine fetal recognition and hosted a conference examining the challenges faced by an ageing population, the university – like the area it serves – is continuing to develop and make a significant contribution to the region," Prof Mennell said. "Our new strategic plan together with our learning, teaching and assessment strategy have a clear focus on student success and outcomes. This, together with our strong commitment to working with key partners and stakeholders, will help our students achieve the best possible outcomes ready for the world beyond and establish the University as one of which we can all be rightfully proud."