Norland holds a TEF Gold award – the highest quality rating possible
Norland has been awarded an overall TEF Gold rating and Gold in each of the two ‘aspect’ ratings for its outstanding student experience and student outcomes. Norland is one of only a small number of higher education providers to achieve Gold in all categories in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023.
What does Norland’s TEF Gold award mean?
Norland received a Gold award in the latest national Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023. Run by the Office for Students (OfS), TEF assesses and rates the extent to which a higher education provider delivers an excellent experience and outcomes for all its undergraduate students. The 2023 rating was Norland’s third Gold rating in the TEF, having achieved Gold in the previous TEF scheme in 2018 and 2019.
Norland achieved the highest possible award across all three rating categories – an overall Gold rating as well as Gold for student experience and Gold for student outcomes.
Despite being one of the smallest degree-awarding providers, Norland is one of only a small number of providers to achieve Gold across all three ratings categories. In total, 46 providers have been awarded TEF Gold in at least two categories, only three are specialist higher education providers (outside the creative arts). The outcomes for a further 53 providers are ‘pending’ as they are still being considered by the TEF panel. This includes providers that made comments about their provisional outcomes of Silver, Bronze, or ‘requires improvement’.
Its 2023 TEF Gold award gives Norland national recognition for consistently providing all its students with the highest quality teaching, experience and outcomes to be found in the country.
Why is this achievement so special for Norland?
Norland’s achievement of the top accolade is particularly special because it is extraordinarily challenging for us, as an early years specialist higher education provider, to achieve.
As one of the smallest degree awarding providers, Norland must compete at the same level and achieve the same outstanding outcomes as many of the larger and more traditional universities that have been operating in higher education for many years.
Its specialist subject focus means that a Gold rating is especially difficult to achieve because its graduates, many of whom go on to become nannies, are deemed to be ‘unskilled’ workers according to the Standard Occupational Classification system. This means that our graduate outcomes fall below the ‘skilled worker’ threshold set by the Office for Students.
To achieve Gold across the board, Norland had to provide a robust rationale to demonstrate how its exceptional degree-based training cultivates outstanding highly skilled graduate nannies who are in high demand around the world, enjoy 100% employability and earn significantly high salaries.
Norland’s 2023 TEF Gold award, coming after four years of holding degree awarding powers, is another significant step towards its ambition to become the first specialist early years university in the world.
“The career prospects of graduates are exceptional, and as a result of the quality of their training, graduates leave as highly skilled and sought after nannies.” Provisional TEF panel statement
How is TEF assessed?
The TEF awards are decided by a national body of experts appointed by the regulator who assess and rate higher education providers for excellence above a set of minimum requirements for quality and standards.
Providers receive an overall rating as well as two underpinning ratings – one for the student experience and one for student outcomes. The TEF 2023 ratings last for four years.
The panel considers a combination of evidence provided by the institution and its students as well as national data about how many students continue and complete their studies, student satisfaction levels (measured by the National Student Survey) and graduate employment outcomes.
Why is TEF important to students?
It is crucial that all students can have confidence that they will receive a high-quality higher education and positive outcomes.
TEF assesses the extent to which providers deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning and achieving positive outcomes from their studies.
The TEF ratings shine a spotlight on the quality of a provider’s courses, influencing providers’ reputations and informing student choice.
Students can use TEF ratings – which provide a clear indication of a provider’s excellence – as useful context to the range of more detailed information they will want to consider when deciding what and where to study.