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'TEF 2023: Patterns of Excellence’ reveals features common to ‘gold achievers’

05 Jun 2024 | Advance HE Advance HE shares the full version the report which comprehensively maps patterns in the submissions across a sample of 40 providers achieving a TEF Gold award in 2023.

Advance HE has published the full report, 'TEF 2023: Patterns of Excellence’. This follows the publication of the  ‘Briefing for Senior Leaders’  last week, highlighting the key findings of  report. 

The research reveals several features common to ‘gold achievers’ including:  

  • The prevalence of whole-institutional strategies for teaching excellence  
  • A recurrent trend of providers striving for consistency across contexts of notable diversity (student body, disciplines or programme types) through whole-institutional strategies, frameworks, policies, staff processes and systems, with implementation at scale 
  • The proactive use of data to support strategic approaches to managing areas of poor performance  
  • Adopting a strategic approach to evidence and evaluation through the systematised collection of data, performance monitoring and evidence of impact – particularly of educational gains 
  • The commonality of approach to educational gains – with four enduring pervasive dimensions of gain, but nuanced through alignment with the provider’s particular mission or approach  
  • ‘Triple focus’ on success – triple gold-rated providers’ focus on success was multi-faceted and future-focused, going beyond developing students’ success during their time in higher education, and as graduates, to preparing graduates to make a successful contribution to society
  • Providers were taking a more targeted approach to continuing professional development (CPD) to ensure consistency of teaching excellence and the allocation of resources
  • Evidence of a greater level of student partnership in quality assurance and enhancement 
  • Maximising the student experience for all students with targeted interventions because not all students ‘are in the same boat’ 
  • Personal tutoring was a key mechanism used for the development of student-centred relationships and personalisation of support. 

Advance HE commissioned the report so that its members can better understand how providers have articulated and demonstrated teaching excellence.   

The report maps patterns in the submissions across a sample of 40 providers achieving a TEF Gold award in 2023. Each provider in the sample achieved a rating of Gold in at least one of the ‘aspects’ of teaching excellence either as a new entrant to the TEF or as an ‘improved’ provider whose award had risen compared to a previous assessment. The report provides in-depth analysis of a subset with a Gold award in all TEF categories (‘Triple Golds’).  


The full report and the Briefing for Senior Leaders are available to Advance HE members: 

TEF 2023: Patterns of Excellence

TEF 2023: Patterns of Excellence – Briefing for Senior Leaders.


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