ECU has responded to the TEF consultation. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has invited responses to a technical consultation on the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework.
ECU responded to the consultation based on our knowledge of equality and diversity in higher education, and our experience ensuring equality considerations were built into various aspects of the Research Excellence Framework.
- Panel members should be made aware of equality issues around student feedback, including the tendency to report higher level of satisfaction with male lecturers, bias against female lecturers and international lecturers, and of the potential for unconscious bias during teaching observation.
- ECU welcomes the recognition of the need to look at differential outcomes on the basis of student background, particularly for disadvantaged groups but a definition of what is meant by the term disadvantaged groups is required.
- ECU welcomes the reference made to accessibility in panel member guidance on the assessment criteria. However it could also be mentioned in relation to the curriculum, learning environment and students’ academic experiences.
- Diversity needs to be considered in the design of course curriculum.
- Non-continuation data should be looked at in relation to ethnicity, sex and disability.
- We recommend that the characteristic of sex is added and that the ethnicity characteristic is split further.
- Given the equality and reliability issues surrounding the NSS and other data sets chosen, we particularly welcome the use of contextual information.
- We recommend that specialist advice to inform the assessment is sought from equality and diversity and student support specialists as well as widening participation experts and employer specialists.