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BNU receives Silver award for teaching excellence

BNU retains Silver award for teaching excellence

Buckinghamshire New University is proudly rated Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2023.  

Judged across 13 features, the TEF panel found that every single feature at BNU was either judged very high quality or outstanding. They awarded BNU Silver for both Student Experience and for Student Outcomes.  

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national scheme run by the regulator of universities, Office for Students (OfS), and aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies. The TEF does this by assessing and rating universities and colleges for excellence above a set of minimum requirements for quality and standards.   

In a full breakdown of the results, Student Experience at BNU was deemed to be outstanding in two areas, with the panel making the following comments:  

  • “A highly stimulating experience for students, small class sizes, and a focus on practical and job-related learning, using simulations and practical tasks.” 
  • “Outstanding support for staff professional development and excellent academic practice embedded across the provider.” 

Teaching, assessment and feedback, research and innovation, learning environment and academic support, and student engagement in improvement were deemed ‘very high quality’, with the panel highlighting positive national student survey results which position BNU in the top ten percent of 150 higher education institutions, and £11 million investment in teaching over the assessment period, amongst their rationale.  

Within Student Outcomes, the areas deemed outstanding were:  

  • “A very clear, highly effective concept of educational gain centred around students acquiring and developing advanced professional skills.” 
  • “An evidence based, highly effective and tailored approach to supporting students in achieving educational gains.” 

The remaining areas were judged as ‘very high quality’: approaches to supporting student success; continuation and completion rates; progression rates; and evaluation and demonstration of educational gains.  

The OfS states that an award of Silver indicates that an HEI’s ‘student experience and student outcomes are typically very high quality’. An overall Silver rating also means that BNU has high quality teaching standards; regularly exceeds the baseline quality expected in terms of outcomes for students from all backgrounds, particularly in terms of retention and progression; and offers students high quality physical and digital resources.   

Whilst BNU received its provisional award of Silver in August 2023, the University decided to submit representations that the award could have been even higher. This was based on the fact that the panel had judged the University to be outstanding in four features, and we believed there was substantial evidence of outstanding quality in two further features. Unfortunately, these representations were not successful. However, we are very proud to receive a Silver award overall, and Silver for both student experience and for student outcomes.  

Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor of Buckinghamshire New University, said: “Receiving our Silver award is a fantastic result for BNU, demonstrating our continued teaching excellence and commitment to delivering the best possible experience and outcomes for every student. I am immensely proud of everyone at BNU who has played their part in achieving this positive result at the end of another successful year for the University. We will now build on the TEF panel’s assessment of our quality as being either very high or outstanding in all elements to enhance quality still further, and we are confident of securing a rating of Gold in the next exercise.”   

Maggie Galliers CBE, Pro Chancellor and Chair of the University Council, said: “Our Silver award is testament to our determination to deliver excellence in the areas that students care about most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies. Alongside research, it is at the heart of what we do at BNU.”  

You can read our TEF submission here.