Hope you’ve had a good weekend!
I’m your Undergraduate Education Officer (in case you didn’t know) which means that, I do a lot of things that kind of run in the background. I’m not always doing sexy things like planning and winning Derby Day or throwing t-shirts and djing at Damn Good. Sometimes, I get lumbered with some of the less glamourous things that most people just don’t care about. I also seem to have to use weird acronyms a lot of the time – we are at UEA after all.
Enter: the TEF. The latest mundane-sounding thing that I’m working on. WTF is the TEF I hear you ask?! Well, it’s the Teaching Excellence Framework of course! I know, I know. The NAME sounds dull but the one sentence explanation: it’s a national scheme that ranks all the universities in England, based on the quality of their teaching. (Sounding slightly more interesting? Maybe?)
My pitch to you is this: although this sounds tedious – and don’t get me wrong, some of it is – it is one of the most powerful tools you as a student have to shape teaching here at UEA. Here’s how: I’m working on the “Student Submission” which is where I’m going to tell the regulator – the OFS (more three letter acronyms) – about your experiences on teaching. Whether that’s how your lectures are being run or, what your assessments are like. My job with the submission is to tell the OFS what you’re experiencing which feeds directly into where UEA rank.
And, UEA’s rank is quite important – it’s one of the ways the UEA can market themselves and prove to the world that they really are “The home of the wonderful.” So it means they’re probably going to listen to what we have to say and change things – and that is where the name and acronym hide quite how important and powerful this is for us and for you.
That’s WTF the TEF is. That’s why, for the next few weeks, you’re gonna hear all of us talking about the TEF in a lot of different spaces – including surveys and focus groups. We’re doing this to get your views and have your input on what we say to the regulator – and importantly the university – about their teaching.
If you find yourself wanting to know more about the TEF and how it’s gonna work, lucky for you we have a website. Head to ueasu.org/tef (convenient!) to find out more and how to get involved. Spoiler alert – you can win some cash for getting involved too. Getting to improve teaching and get enough money for a takeaway? Yes PLEASE!
Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you out and about chatting about more boring schemes.
Find out more about the Teaching Excellence Framework here.