The University of Buckingham has come at the top of the rankings in the first-ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rankings.
The government has assessed universities on six key criteria including teaching quality, academic support, student progression, employability and success and awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze rating.
Buckingham has been awarded Gold and achieved a remarkable result with “double positive” ratings in all six categories. The majority of universities, over two-thirds, achieved only silver or bronze.
The University has always blazed a trail since it was founded in 1976 – it was the only University offering two year degrees at the time. Now the sector is following Buckingham’s lead because it has made such a success of the two-year degree programme.
The panel commended Buckingham for its “small group teaching and rigorous attendance monitoring which facilitate a highly personalised approach to learning that promotes optimum rates of retention, attainment and progression.”
Its learning environment was praised because it “exposes students to knowledge, understanding and skills that are at the cutting edge of scholarship, research and professional practice.”
Teaching standards were applauded as reflecting “an embedded institutional culture which facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching and which takes teaching into account in promotion processes.
The University was also singled out for its “outstanding” physical and digital resources, including an Enterprise Hub, extensive online journal access and personalised IT support.
Buckingham received acclaim for its “strategic commitment to the Professional, Statutory or Professional (PSRB) accreditation of courses and a wide range of demanding work-based learning opportunities that enable students to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding that are most highly valued by employers.”
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said: “For Buckingham, one of the country’s smallest universities, to come at the top of the rankings in the first ever TEF exercise is exceptional. We are thrilled to see our exemplary teaching methods receiving official recognition. Our small class sizes and commitment to quality teaching ensure our students do well when they leave. We see many of them blossom on their journey with us which is why so many say they made the right choice choosing Buckingham. The TEF result shows that students choosing Buckingham can be confident that they will have the very best in teaching quality, frequent contact with their tutors and excellent career prospects.”
The University has also been consistently at the top of the National Student Survey (NSS) for Student Satisfaction over the last decade. In 2016 it was The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide University of the Year for Teaching Quality.
Buckingham is the only independent university with a Royal Charter. Two years ago it launched the country’s first independent Medical School which has been hugely successful with very high demand for places right from the start.