Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF): Re-examining its Logic and Considering Possible Systemic and Institutional Outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper offers conceptual and theoretical insights relating to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), highlighting a range of potential systemic and institutional outcomes and issues. The paper is organised around three key areas of discussion that are often under-explored in debates. Firstly, after considering the TEF in the wider context of recent reforms, the paper offers a critical assessment, highlighting a broad range of flaws, issues and weaknesses in its design and execution. Counter to many ‘common assumptions’, it is argued that such weaknesses may mean the TEF is unlikely to pass smoothly or unopposed into policy and practice, and moreover it may result in a range of unexpected outcomes and ‘refractions'. The paper then attempts to offer conceptual insights into possible institutional responses to the TEF, and the implications these may have for institutions and across the sector as a whole. Finally, it is argued that the TEF should be considered in its wider context, as a landmark initiative that is designed to further embed a neoliberal audit and monitoring culture into Higher Education, and one that is unlikely to bring about the proclaimed teaching excellence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-90
Number of pages32
JournalThe Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies
Volume15
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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Teaching
audit
monitoring
reform
education

Keywords

  • Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
  • Higher Education and Research Act
  • refraction
  • neoliberal education
  • alternative educational futures

Cite this

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