Norwich university scores gold ranking in teaching scheme after successful appeal

Students graduating from UEA. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Students graduating from UEA. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

A Norwich university has been given gold in a scheme assessing its teaching after appealing its original ranking.

The University of East Anglia. Picture: James Bass

The University of East Anglia. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2008

The University of East Anglia (UEA) was initially given a silver ranking in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which was first published in June.

Disappointed with the result, the university appealed to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and, having put its case forward, has now been told it is gold.

It joins Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), which was also given a gold rating.

The TEF is the government's new method of assessing teaching quality at higher education providers, offering students more information on where and what to study.

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Professor Neil Ward, pro vice-chancellor (academic), said: 'We are delighted our appeal has been successful as we believe UEA meets the gold standard for teaching excellence.

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'We've always maintained a strong focus on teaching, because that's what really matters to students. The appeals panel agreed and UEA is ranked gold.'

Mary Leishman, UEA Students' Union sabbatical officer for undergraduate education, said: 'It's great to see that HEFCE has an appeals system that works. 'Great teaching is what the TEF was supposed to be all about and, given what students say about teaching at UEA, we're thrilled that this has now been reflected in our gold grading.'

One of the components of TEF is the National Student Survey (NSS), which gathers undergraduates' opinions about their course. Earlier this month, UEA ranked fourth out of mainstream universities.

As an example of its good teaching, UEA pointed to Dr Eylem Atakay, senior lecturer in film and television studies.

Her contribution was recognised last year when she was appointed a National Teaching Fellow, among a handful of other awards.

She said: 'You can achieve a lot by thinking differently about education. Academics don't belong in ivory towers, focusing only on their own work. We must understand students and what they want, and involve them in what we do and our professional networks. I believe that it's vital to take students outside the classroom to inspire them and truly prepare them for the world of work.'

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