Two Welsh universities have been given the highest possible rating for learning and teaching in a UK assessment.
Wales Online reported “Swansea University and Aberystwyth University achieved a gold rating in the national Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) 2018.
The result follows a gold for Bangor University last year with the result putting them in a small group of universities ranked highly for both research and for teaching excellence.
Ranking lasts for three years in the TEF, a UK Government initiative that aims to recognise, reward and improve excellent higher education learning and teaching across the UK.
It also aims to provide students with clear information about where teaching quality is best and where students have achieved the best outcomes.
Universities who volunteer to take part are assessed by an independent panel on their performance across three areas – teaching quality, learning environment, and student outcomes and learning gain.
The panel said at Swansea there is clear evidence of personalised high-quality support for learning, including Welsh medium opportunities, and pastoral care.
There are also outstanding levels of student satisfaction with academic support that are above Swansea’s benchmark, the panel said. Rates of progression to highly skilled employment or further study are also above Swansea’s benchmark.
Swansea was also recognised for:
Having a clear employability strategy with very high levels of engagement from employers and professional bodies;
Course design and assessment practices which provide engaging learning opportunities, resulting in students acquiring knowledge, skills and understanding that are most highly valued by employers;
A cross-disciplinary approach to world-leading research that influences teaching and learning;
A strong culture of reward and recognition for teaching and integration with research and scholarship;
Outstanding physical and digital resources with very high levels of investment to enhance learning.
Aberystwyth University was recognised for student satisfaction with assessment and feedback, and rates for continuation and progression to highly skilled employment or further study, all above its benchmark.
Aberystwyth University was also recognised for:
Course design and assessment practices that ensure all students are challenged to achieve their full potential, and acquire knowledge, skills and understanding that are most highly valued by employers.
Ensuring outstanding student engagement with learning and commitment to developing and rewarding excellent teaching.
Embedding employability into the curriculum and a comprehensive and integrated approach to Welsh language teaching.
Swansea University pro-vice chancellor, Professor Martin Stringer said: “This gold award reflects the high calibre of teaching and the outstanding student experience that Swansea has to offer, both of which are enhanced by our world-class research and facilities.
“Students are at the heart of what we do, and our employability strategy equips our graduates well for their future careers. We work to develop their confidence and character, helping them to prepare for a good life, not just a good career.”
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, vice-chancellor at Aberystwyth Univer-sity, said: “Our mission at Aberystwyth is to provide an outstanding 21st century education and all-round student experience.
“We achieve results by combining our strengths as a historic research-led institution with the latest thinking in innovative teaching, research and first-class facilities.
“We want to equip our students with the knowledge, understanding and transferable skills that will
enable them to thrive in their chosen discipline and their future careers.”
Other universities taking part this year included the University of Wales Trinity St David which received bronze. Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan and Wrexham Glyndwr universities were ranked silver when they took part in 2017, the first year the scheme ran” here.