University Centre South Devon, part of South Devon College, is celebrating after being reaccredited with a coveted Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award.
TEF is a national scheme run by the Office for Students (OfS) and is a recognition of excellent outstanding teaching and learning in higher education. The Gold accolade is the highest level that can be achieved within the TEF framework.
Of the 53 UK colleges reviewed, including UCSD, four were rated TEF Gold. UCSD (as part of South Devon College), is in the top 10% best performing colleges and in the top 15% of all providers.
The award enables students to make informed choices about their chosen college or university, providing peace of mind that they will receive the highest quality in education provision, whilst receiving support and guidance on their future careers.
The Gold award is defined as ‘consistently delivering outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’, and it is the second consecutive Gold award received by UCSD.
The TEF inspectors’ report reviewed the student experience and identified “outstanding quality across all groups of students and for all courses and subjects”, with the student submission stating that “academic staff have a passion for what they do which makes wanting to learn contagious and fun”.
It also highlighted the outstanding quality of teaching assessment and feedback, noting the embedded employability framework within UCSD’s programmes, designed to support students in becoming a ‘South Devon Graduate’.
23 year old Olivia Price recently graduated from UCSD with a BSc (Hons) in Social and Therapeutic Interventions. She credits all the staff for their guidance throughout her degree.
“Everyone is so supportive. All the tutors put so much time and dedication into their lessons, presenting us with top quality information for our modules.”
The TEF awarding panel considered the learning environment and academic support provided to be another outstanding quality feature.
UCSD was praised within the report for displaying a focused and coherent strategy for supporting employability and career success for the students, with strong evidence of an effective approach to supporting progression, and the educational gains of students in relation to employability and careers.
A student submission shared the sentiment, stating “‘tutors give students the very best chance to succeed’”.
UCSD offers education opportunities across a variety of subjects, from level 4 qualifications and degree apprenticeships, to foundation and bachelor degrees in partnership with the University of Plymouth. The University Centre collaborates with employers to offer the best employment prospects for its graduates, as well as offering vocational courses and is the only provider to offer the Hearing Aid Audiology foundation degree in the South West.
Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO at South Devon College, believes the award represents the staff’s dedication to the University Centre.
He said: “This award is a wonderful reflection of the commitment shown to the university centre from both our staff and students.
“We are proud to offer a very high quality of professional teaching provisions, to ensure our students receive the best in their undergraduate studies. We are honoured to receive another TEF Gold award, and we will continually strive to be outstanding.”