By Natasha Livingstone
Durham University has been accredited with a Gold Award in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcome Framework (TEF).
The grading represents the best possible accolade in the ranking.
The TEF Panel highlighted the University’s research-led education, stating that it equipped students with skills valued by employers. The Board referenced the progression of students to highly skilled work or further study.
TEF also praised Durham’s institutional culture, which regulates and recognises excellence in teaching.
The Department for Education developed the TEF and the ratings are judged by an independent panel of students, academics and experts.
Professor Alan Houston, Durham University Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, commented: “To be awarded Gold is a wonderful recognition of the talent and dedication of our staff.
“We strive to empower students through enquiry-based learning, and the impact of this can be seen through the remarkable achievements of our students.”
He added: “Whilst Durham University enjoys great success, we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent. We are constantly looking for ways to improve what we offer to our students and staff, and to continue to make Durham an inclusive place to study, this is reflected in our University Strategy.”
Durham plans to open a new Teaching and Learning Centre in September 2019. The building will provide modern classrooms, lecture theatres and an Education Laboratory, where new teaching and training methods will be developed.
Durham is a world top 100 university and performs well in both national and international league tables. Last week, it was positioned fifth in the Guardian University Guide and was reported as one of the top ten universities for employment in the Graduate Market 2018.
Sabrina Seel, Postgraduate Academic Officer, commented: “I hope that Durham continues to identify, tackle and improve its problems and areas of weakness in teaching.
“A Gold ranking doesn’t mean that problem areas such as feedback, accessibility of education, study space and others no longer exist.”
“TEF is young, still growing and changing, and Durham will need to continue to make progress in these areas, not because of TEF, but because they stand in the way of making Durham the diverse, sector leading and transformative educator that it aspires to be.”
Photograph: Maddie Flisher