ULaw among gold-rated universities in government’s first teaching rankings

While some Russell Group universities scored bronze

The University of Law (ULaw) is one of 59 universities and further education colleges to score gold in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) published today, while a number of extremely well-respected universities languish at the bottom with bronze.

Pioneered by Jo Johnson — MP, Universities and Science Minister and BoJo’s brother — the new TEF rankings focus on the quality of a university’s teaching rather than its research. The 295 universities involved have been given gold, silver or bronze ratings which are supposed to correlate with higher education courses’ value for money (at least from a student’s point of view.)

The rankings are based on what have been highly controversial metrics and which include the National Student Survey, dropout rates, graduate employability and a written assessment from the university.

The other universities to be given the gold rating are a mix of traditionally well-performing universities (such as Birmingham, Exeter and St Andrews) and other smaller institutions (such as Aston, Edge Hill, South Devon College and Weston College of Further and Higher Education). And before you ask, yes both Oxford and Cambridge scored gold too.

Other extremely well-regarded universities have not fared so well.

Languishing in the bronze table alongside a number of virtually unknown local colleges are three Russell Groupers: LSE, Liverpool and Southampton. Readers may be particularly interested to know that BPP University, which includes BPP Law School, scored bronze too.

Half of universities were somewhere in the middle. Scoring silver were the likes of Bristol, Cardiff, City, Durham, King’s and York, alongside Canterbury College, Gloucestershire, Darlington College, London Southbank and Winchester.

ULaw is pretty chuffed by the result. Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of ULaw, said:

Our students are smart and ambitious and rightly demand the highest standard of teaching, so we are delighted to receive the TEF gold standard.

The TEF does not indicate how good specific departments within a university are, so it’s unclear how much use the government-sponsored rankings will be.

However, the TEF may well impact on tuition fees in the future. A University of Reading explainer addresses this:

The government had previously announced an intention to allow institutions to increase tuition fees in line with inflation depending on their TEF rating. In April 2017 the Higher Education and Research Act postponed these plans, pending an independent review of the TEF national trial. The government is expected to allow tuition fees to rise annually in line with inflation until 2020/21 for institutions participating in the TEF and who meet minimum requirements. Whether tuition fees are then linked to TEF ratings will depend on the outcome of the independent review and subsequent government decisions.

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ULaw is a dispenser of tick boxes for those who have already studied at genuine educational institutions.

Why is it included in this sham metric?


Your beguiling comment is a sign of how elite education has turned into a new form of nepotism disguising itself as a meritocracy; for why would you in any way be threatened by this news unless it exposed something of a shortcoming regarding your own education or indeed your illusions or grandeur. I mean, the way you were able to clearly articulate your point with profound justification and proof just goes to show the superiority of your so-called genuine educational institutions. Not only that, you likewise chose a forum where you can clearly have intricate discussions regarding the state of education and teaching in universities.


the pretentious and pompous style of writing is… unpleasant. all I was thinking while reading this was how the tempo of the sentence is so disjunctive


So Aston, Edge Hill, South Devon College and Weston College of Further and Higher Education got gold. LSE and Liverpool got bronze.



If anyone wanted to dismiss this ranking system they only need to know that ULaw got a gold. They are the worst of the worst and et a gold based on a survey of 125 students. Ha!

And then we see Russell groups getting bronze and nickel


Well the actual *teaching* isn’t that bad at ULaw. Everything else is utter shit.


I hope they continue to refine the metrics as it would be very useful for students to get an accurate idea of the quality of a university, beyond its reputation and history


Bronze Axe is always just about the worst axe in most computer games. It is rubbish. Bronze is rubbish.

Bronze, gold and silver at least there's no wood

I think this system is highly suspect. But that does not mean it should be discounted. I think we need to view the standards abstractly to grasp their meaning. My inrerpretation is as follows. All gold means is that the teachers spoon feed their students, or in other words the teachers give the students what they need to feel comfortable on their respective degree. Whether that is a good or bad thing is your prerogative. Silver is the best of both worlds, independent but supported, help at hand when needed . Bronze now, that’s the brutal one. Lse is known to have one of lowest student satisfaction. Unsurprising bpp follows with same grade. Bpp in one word is a sham. To conclude, gold too much spoon feeding, I think it’s only gone to work at oxbridge where your spoon fed by the best academics in the world, being spoon fed at ULaw and Edge hill however is a very different proprtsition: spoon fed by the worst or at best text book teaching will get you know where once you graduate. As I have said before silver is a happy middle. Just stay away from bronze. Bronze: this is where students are abondend and left to fend for themselves and treated simiply as cash cows.

Help that helps.


What do you think about the platinum standard (artificial insertion of facts and knowledge into student brains)?

Bronze, gold and silver at least there's no wood

platinum standard? What do you mean. Are you an idealist?


No, it’s the Platonium standard that is for Idealists…


Bpp got a bronze as their name starts with B. Uni of slaw deserve a U.


Wow ULaw is a made up University. How rubbish must that rating actually be? I bet the CEO is very happy, she runs a duck that has been rated as a swan!!!


Oxford and Cambridge have also been rated gold. Given the usual degree snobbery on here, I am surprised that the Oxbridge ‘elite’ are not advocating this as further evidence of their superior degrees.

I suppose that’s lawyers for you – will argue anything that suits their view at the time.

Cambridge educated TC US

So let me get this straight. You’re complaining that oxbridge students are not seeking confirmation here?
chip on your shoulder.

Female Associate

Ulaw gave my class a teacher with poor English and who was under qualified for the role. I’m being polite for fear of being sued for libel or slander or whatever the relevant tort is (was ill that week). tip of the iceberg

Not trying to be rude, this is not to mention the number of students at the university who I am surprised passed A Levels. My tutor once had to spell out on the whiteboard the difference between numbers expressed as figures and bomber style expressed as words becuse the class couldn’t grasp it….

Tru story ladz

Yeah, that’s just your standard Pakistani student coming to the UK to ‘lern da law to b a bik barista innit bruv’

We’ve had heaps of them loitering around BPP’s Waterloo campus.


Doesn’t sound right does it. The bar is for posh, white, middle class men. That is just the way, judges respect nothing less.


I’m suspicious of ALL league tables; they are either snobbery or inverted snobbery. Confirmation bias projects that “prove” your favourites or underdogs right.


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