University of Essex Online awarded gold rating in teaching excellence

University of Essex Online has achieved gold rating in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The highly prestigious gold rating places the institution alongside other highly-ranked UK universities.

Gold rating is only awarded by the TEF to institutions delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the U.K. The rating also provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.

Universities are classified as gold, silver or bronze, determined by six core metrics based on teaching, academic support and progression to employment. Universities also submit a 15-page document to a panel of higher education experts and students, which was used alongside the metrics to determine the rating.

The TEF Panel judged the University of Essex Online ‘delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the U.K.’

Nicola Pittman, Managing Director for University of Essex Online, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded a gold rating in the TEF awards. This achievement shows the dedication and commitment of our extremely hard-working team.

“We strive to provide first-class pastoral care and to promote a culture of excellence, and we are pleased that the judgement of the Panel and the statement of findings show clear evidence of the outstanding support that all of our students receive. We were determined to achieve the highest of ratings in the TEF awards and we are delighted with today’s news.”

The statement of findings taken from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) website, indicates that students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes.

In particular the Panel noted that part-time student satisfaction with teaching and continuation are above the provider’s benchmark and that satisfaction with assessment and feedback and academic support are exceptionally high.

The Panel also considered the provider’s submission and supplementary metrics, where appropriate, in relation to the TEF criteria and its judgement reflects, in particular, evidence of:

  • integrated formative feedback in the programmes and a rapid turnaround of formative and summative marks
  • course design and assessment practices that provide scope for high levels of stretch
    customised study plans and flexible approaches to the speed of study that support personalised learning
  • strong pastoral support underpinned by effective use of learner analytics
  • vocational programmes delivered by industry professionals that support progression to employment and high median earnings.

University of Essex Online is a partnership between Kaplan Open Learning and the University of Essex, which was also rated gold in the TEF in 2017.


Professor Dominic Micklewright, Dean of Partnerships at the University, said: “We are delighted to be awarded gold which reflects the excellent educational experience our students enjoy through University of Essex Online. Our online degrees, delivered in partnership with Kaplan Open Learning, are among the highest-quality in the world.

“All of our online students receive one to one personalised support informed by learner analytics and they always receive feedback on assessed work within one week. We are delighted with our gold award which follows our nomination for Digital Innovation of the Year at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2018.”