The TEF recognises high-quality teaching and student outcomes in higher education and 2023 was the first time the OU has submitted to the TEF.
The gold rating, awarded against the backdrop of the covid 19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis, is a major boost for the OU’s students and staff.
This rating is awarded following a rigorous assessment process that includes analysis of student data and peer review of written evidence.
It is awarded only if a higher education institution can consistently deliver outstanding teaching and learning outcomes for its students.
Vice Chancellor Tim Blackman said: “It’s fantastic news that our first entry into the TEF has produced such an outstanding result recognising the commitment and dedication of all our staff and students. My thanks go to all those who have made this possible.
“The award proves the OU is maintaining its high standards, reputation and ranking for excellence within the sector and will be great news for our students, potential students and partners.
“Open University degrees are hard-won, with 71% of our directly registered students working full or part-time whilst studying, and the same proportion coming to us with no previous higher education experience before embarking on their undergraduate courses.
“Our staff play a unique role in helping them change their life paths, assisting them to realise their ambitions and fulfilling their potential in life.”
Participation in TEF is now compulsory for most universities and colleges and, under the OfS conditions for registration, it will be repeated every four years.
While an entry to the TEF is not a requirement of providers outside England, the OU’s submission reflects its four UK Nations remit, so the outcome has a significant impact upon the perception of the quality of the OU in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.