Teaching excellence

01 July 2015

Commenting on Universities Minister Jo Johnson’s speech today, which outlined plans to introduce a Teaching Excellence Framework, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“Our universities are committed to providing an outstanding student experience where teaching is enhanced by world-class research and facilities.

“Students rightly have high expectations and our universities work hard to meet their demands. The latest National Students’ Survey (NSS) showed 89% of Russell Group students are satisfied with their teaching and 90% find their course intellectually stimulating. Our universities take our students’ views and needs extremely seriously. Many celebrate the achievements of academic staff through teaching awards, including schemes led by students themselves.

“But we are not complacent and are always looking at ways to make the student experience even better. Our universities use a wide range of measures to help us ensure the quality of undergraduate teaching and we continue to invest millions of pounds in improving the teaching, facilities and services available to our students.

“Our aim is to instil both independence and rigour of thought and learning, producing capable, self-motivated graduates of the highest standard who succeed in a global employment market. Employers value the skills that our graduates offer- 10 of the top 30 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, are Russell Group universities.

“And we believe all students should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Our universities invest a huge amount of time, effort and resources into making sure their doors are wide open to talented and able students from all backgrounds. 

“We look forward to engaging with the Government and other key stakeholders on the best way to continue to improve the current system and ensure students receive an outstanding education.” 

Notes to Editors

  1. The 2014 National Student Survey showed:
    • 87% of students are satisfied with the quality of their university course across Russell Group universities, compared with 86% across universities in the UK. 
    • 89% of students at Russell Group universities are satisfied with the teaching on their course, compared to a sector-wide average of 87%.
    • 90% of students at Russell Group universities found their course intellectually stimulating.
  2. Our 2014 publication, A Passion for Learningset out the ways in which Russell Group universities are working hard to provide excellent teaching and support for students.
  3. According to the QS World University Rankings 2014, 10 of the top 30 universities in the world, as ranked by employers, are Russell Group universities.
  4. The Russell Group report Opening Doors examines the root causes of under-representation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and gives examples of what Russell Group universities are doing to help tackle the problem. More and more disadvantaged students are studying at Russell Group universities. Young people from the most disadvantaged areas in 2014 were around 40 per cent more likely to enter a leading university than three years ago. More than a third of our students receive a bursary or scholarship.  In 2015-16, the 20 Russell Group universities in England alone will be investing £234 million in scholarships, fee waivers, bursaries and outreach activities aimed at the most disadvantaged – with additional investments being made across the devolved administrations.

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