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Teaching Excellence Framework should not be rushed through

14 December 2017

In response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, which today published a report on its inquiry into UK higher education quality and proposals for a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), John Widdowson, President of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said: “The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee rightly warn the Government that it should not rush through the new Teaching Excellence Framework for universities and colleges offering higher education and training. “It is important that the Framework equally and fairly recognises all types of higher education, including that provided by colleges. There are 159,000 people studying HE in a college. Many of them are adults fitting their course in around work or family commitments. Others study part time combining work and career with the demands of their course. The Framework and other HE reforms must take these students into account if the higher education system is to be truly diverse and accessible to all. “We also support the proposal that universities should not be able to increase tuition fees unless they have met minimum standards of teaching quality. Continually rising fees may deter potential students from non-traditional backgrounds. Any increase in fees must be accompanied by clear measures of value for money including taught hours and developing the skills demanded by employers.”