Uni bosses launch appeal against controversial ranking

Ranking is ‘unreflective’ say university admin

University bosses have launched an appeal against the recent ‘Silver’ rating for York in the controversial Teaching Excellence Framework, (TEF) claiming it is unreflective of the “teaching excellence offered here at York”.

York is among four Russell Group universities to have launched a complaint against its ranking, alongside Durham, Liverpool, and Southampton. Universities fear not obtaining the highest possible accreditation may damage their international standing, and make it more difficult to recruit international students.

The framework assesses teaching quality on metrics such as student satisfaction, drop-out rates and graduate prospects. The rankings are supposed to recognise excellence in teaching and learning, with the lowest performing institutions being ranked Bronze, and the best Gold.

The silver ranking, obtained by York and disputed by university management, is given to universities and colleges which are “delivering high quality teaching” but are not judged to be “of the highest quality found in the UK”.

However, the divisive methodology has come under fire, with Southampton’s Vice-Chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, blasting the TEF as “devoid of any meaningful assessment of teaching”.

A University spokesperson confirmed the appeal to Vision, but declined to comment further saying: “We do not believe that the silver rating reflects the teaching excellence offered here at York.

“We are unable to offer any further comment whilst the appeal process is underway.”