CaSE responded to this consultation which includes proposed changes to research, teaching and higher education structures.

Summary of key points

  • There is wide support for renewed focus on teaching quality in higher education, however, there is a strong view that the the proposed teaching excellence framework (TEF), as described in the Green Paper, would not achieve its stated aims.
  • TEF should focus on improving the quality of teaching through recognising and rewarding high quality teaching. Widening participation and social mobility are rightly a focus for the Government and the sector, but should be addressed separately.
  • The proposed mechanistic link between fees and TEF outcomes should be reconsidered as it is not sustainable to put in place a system in which only the highest performers are able to maintain real terms funding per student. This is particularly concerning for high-cost subjects.
  • Care and sufficient time must be taken in developing measures or metrics for inclusion in phase 2 of TEF as they will be drivers of change within institutions. They must be valid measures of teaching quality, and carefully tested and piloted over time.
  • Considering the substantial shift in funding flows and composition of the higher education sector, reconsideration of the system architecture seems appropriate.
  • There should be an overarching body with oversight of the higher education sector and responsibility for integrity of the whole sector.
  • Changes to the research funding landscape as proposed in the Green Paper and in the Nurse Review provide an opportunity to embed dual support in the constitution of Research UK.
  • Close engagement with the sector regarding detailed plans, implementation and timescales following the Nurse Review would be prudent and expected considering the openness of many of its recommendations.