The Green Paper, TEF and Implications for Universities

Today’s branch meeting was addressed by the President of the UCU on the subject of the proposals in the ‘Green Paper’ on Higher Education. These proposals include a ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ (TEF), measures to permit providers more easily to enter and leave the sector and other changes. The presentation given is available here:

Kent University 10th December 2015 Green Paper TEF

One contribution from the floor suggested that there is a lot of concern about the workability of the proposals. Because they aren’t well developed there is scope for contributions to the consultation to have real leverage. However it does seem there is a firm intention to introduce the TEF and the first cycle could run in 2016.

Concerns were expressed in the meeting about impact on workload. We are already struggling in the face of multiple indicators, and while we don’t like the look of the TEF we shouldn’t fall into the trap of making the existing alternatives look attractive either. Postgraduate students who are teaching are a vulnerable, often casualised part of the workforce and we need to respond to their interests. There will be impacts on the welfare of undergraduate students, not least from the rapid entry of private providers into the ‘market’.

The Green Paper consultation runs until 15 January 2016 – learn more from the ‘Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’ consultation page. The UCU is working on its response – please contact branch officers if you’d like ideas passed up the chain for that response. We encourage members to use the presentation and other materials (see links in previous post) to encourage discussion amongst colleagues. Professional groups can make submissions and so can individuals.

We welcome discussion here – please bear in mind this is a public forum and be respectful of other participants.