The headlines have been filled with controversial Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) stories this week such as Russell Group bronzes, questionable metrics and rumours of injunctions against the Higher Education Funding Council for England, but over in Wales, Bangor University is celebrating being the only Welsh institution to win a coveted gold award.
Sitting alongside the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, Bangor beat five other Welsh institutions that secured silver, and University of Wales, St David, which claimed bronze. University of South Wales and Aberystwyth University chose not to take part in the TEF. Speaking about the gold rating, vice chancellor John G Hughes commented: “Bangor has maintained a strong commitment to the delivery of high quality student experience for many decades.”
Bangor is no stranger to winning awards for excellence. This marks the third year in a row the university has won a Whatuni Student Choice Award, taking home the 2017 prize for ‘Clubs and Societies’. The North Wales institution also consistently does well in the National Student Survey. But just what is it about Bangor that makes its students so happy? And how did it earn the gold award bestowed on under a third of the institutions that took part in the TEF?We spoke to Director of Marketing and Recruitment, Carys Wyn Roberts, to find out.
Carys Wyn Roberts, Director of Marketing & Recruitment, Bangor University
“Staff and students were delighted to find out that Bangor University had received a gold award in recognition of our consistently outstanding teaching and learning. We are the only university in Wales to achieve this standard and are pleased to be amongst those universities who received the highest possible gold rating,” Roberts told Hotcourses Group. “Bangor University’s impressive performance in TEF reflects the focus we place on our students. Amongst the areas highlighted by TEF as particular strengths at Bangor were the ways we engage with our students, the personalised support we offer to students, and our enhancement of students’ employability through schemes such as the Bangor Employability Award.
“The TEF Gold award is a fantastic accolade to receive and reflects the great things going on at Bangor University. We’ve been investing heavily in the student experience with a new student village, improved sports facilities and a new arts and innovation centre amongst recent developments. Bangor offers free membership of all Students Union clubs and societies, and students can also take advantage of schemes such as Languages for All, where they can learn one of seven languages for free and further improve their employability.”
With such a student-centric culture at Bangor, they will no doubt have a lot to shout about in the coming months. We look forward to tracking the university’s progress for 2018, starting with tomorrow when the institution welcomes prospective students to campus for its Open Day.
The UK government introduced TEF to capture teaching and learning quality around factors such as student satisfaction, retention rates and graduate employment. The TEF is implemented by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the full results can be viewed here.