Vice Principal, Head of Quality and Standards and Registrar, Mandy Edmond spoke at the national Westminster Higher Education Forum policy conference on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in January 2023.   

Mandy discussed the impact of TEF from the perspective of small, specialist higher education providers, and the benefits and challenges of participation. She described the specialised early childhood degree and coveted Norland diploma as “going above and beyond the degree studies, we have lots of visiting lecturers and we have masterclasses, visits and various other experiences that our students go through in order to advance their skills.”

Norland previously held two TEF Gold rated awards – the highest standard possible in the UK’s national assessment of undergraduate teaching.  

This timely conference brought together stakeholders with regulators to discuss the new TEF exercise for 2023 – including the introduction of new regulatory requirements in student outcomes.  

Lord Ralph Lucas, who chaired the conference, has been editor of The Good Schools Guide since 2000. Lord Lucas has more recently sought to amend the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill to bring student mental health into sharper focus, commented that “it is really important from a political point of view that universities evolve to give some form of lifelong support and advice.”  

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Giving a nod to Norland’s life-long support network through the Norland agency, Lord Lucas said he would very much like to see the sector “taking a lesson from Norland in saying what goes on for several years after graduation matters, that ought to be flowing back into the equation of how good outcomes are.” He also said that it was essential to develop “these sorts of relationships between universities and alumni” and for universities to “get a real grip on continuous learning” enabling students to return to their university as a base for lifelong education.  

The employability focus of its training and the lifelong support Norlanders receive is something which has continued since Norland was founded over 130 years ago. In addition to their own inhouse employment agency, graduates can pursue specialist post-qualification training such as Norland’s maternity practitioner course. They also have exclusive access to Norland’s active Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training programme and professional association to ensure their knowledge and skills are kept up to date with the latest early years research and best practice.  

The Teaching Excellence Framework conference sessions examined the process for the gathering and presentation of data to demonstrate excellence in the student experience, incorporating evidence from across student groups and subjects. Graeme Rosenberg, Head of TEF at the Office for Students, who was involved in the setting up of the National Student Survey, gave the keynote speech on how TEF acts to enhance the quality of the student experience and graduate outcomes.  

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