Lincoln has been announced as one of 59 universities to be ranked ‘gold’ in this year’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) results.

Photo: Liam O’Dell.

The framework, introduced in the government’s Higher Education Bill earlier this year – allows universities who meet a ‘baseline quality standard’ to raise fees in line with inflation until 2020.

In response to the rating, Vice Chancellor Mary Stuart said the university is ‘delighted’ by the decision.

“We already pride ourselves on the education, experiences and opportunities we offer our students. Our TEF Gold award is further evidence of our exciting teaching, great support for students and excellent employment outcomes.

“It is testament to the talents and endeavours not just of our teaching staff but of everyone who makes up our academic community, including our students who so enthusiastically embrace the opportunities and challenges presented to them,” she said.

However, the Teaching Excellence Framework has also come under fire in recent months, with Sorana Vieru, the National Union of Students’ Vice President for Higher Education, calling it ‘marketization through the back door’ because of its proposed connection to increased fees.

The University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union has also criticised the move. In April, they announced they were to boycott the National Student Survey (NSS), saying that institutions charging different fees will ‘increase inequality both in terms of students entering HE and their graduate prospects’.

During its passage through Parliament, the House of Lords called for an amendment to break the link between the TEF and a rise in the cost of tuition.

The government has since announced that the link between the two will be deferred until 2020, following an independent review.