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Exeter College awarded ‘Gold’ standard for Outstanding University Level Teaching and Learning

By June 22, 2017March 25th, 2021Member News & Updates

Exeter College has been awarded the ‘Gold’ standard for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its University Level students.

The coveted gold award highlights that the college’s Centre for University Level Studies, which offers a wide range of degree level courses, is among the best in the country for teaching and employment outcomes. 

The results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), published today, provide a picture of excellence in teaching and learning in UK higher education. 

A panel of experts judged awarded Exeter College gold for ‘delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’ and found it to be among the ‘highest quality found in the UK’. 

And the results and the underlying evidence are designed to help students thinking about which university or college to apply to.

Exeter College is praised for its:

  • outstanding employment outcomes which are supported by an effective strategic focus on vocational and professional education allowing students to acquire skills knowledge and understanding that are highly valued by employers
  • teaching, learning and assessment practices which provide scope for outstanding levels of stretch that ensure all students are significantly challenged to achieve their full potential
  •  optimum levels of contact time which secure the highest levels of student engagement
  • outstanding individualised learning which is enhanced through an effective personal tutor system
  • an embedded college culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching
  • a range of outstanding digital and industry-specific facilities actively used by students and which impact positively on enhancing their learning.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced by the Government to build evidence about the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector.

Each provider was rated Gold, Silver or Bronze.  The TEF awards were decided by an independent panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives. Drawing on national data, and evidence submitted by each university or college, the TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, the learning environment and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

John Laramy, Exeter College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “I am extremely proud that we have been awarded the very top accolade of Gold for the outstanding teaching and learning for our degree level students. We really do our degree level courses differently at our Centre for University Level Studies by putting our students first and this is a fantastic achievement for the team here at the college. I would like to thank all of our staff who have made this success possible.”

“On a personal note, as someone who started my own university level journey here, albeit many years ago, it is a true achievement to celebrate for the whole Exeter College community and the students who we are here to support to change their lives.”

The Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “These results, highlighting the extraordinary strengths of our higher education system, will help students choose which university or college to study at.

“The Teaching Excellence Framework is refocusing the sector’s attention on teaching – putting in place incentives that will raise standards across the sector and giving teaching the same status as research.”

Meanwhile, this is also great news for the city of Exeter, with the University of Exeter also being rated Gold. 


Further Notes

  • The Teaching Excellence Framework – the first scheme of its kind – recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK’s world-class higher education sector.
  • The TEF measures teaching excellence in three key areas:

Teaching quality: teaching that stimulates and challenges students, and maximises their engagement with their studies

Learning environment: the effectiveness of resources and activities (such as libraries, laboratories and work experience) which support learning and improve retention, progression and attainment.

Student outcomes: the extent to which all students achieve their educational and professional goals, in particular those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • The metrics measure student satisfaction, retention, and progression to employment. The metrics take account of differences in student characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied. This allowed the assessors to judge teaching excellence and outcomes for the specific students taught in each university or college.
  • Gold is awarded for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK


The Centre for University Levels Studies is a critical and growing part of our learning community at Exeter College. Doing a degree level course with us and our partners is a different experience and one we’re proud to offer. That’s why we can say that our Centre for University Level Studies really does do degrees differently.

Applications are open over the summer for our degree level courses for entry in September 2017. Apply now to secure your place and join those who have already applied to start with us.  See our website for more: