Survey reveals a lack of support for government plan to link tuition fees to teaching quality

The majority of UK academics think reforms planned in the government’s Higher Education and Research Bill will have a damaging effect on higher education in the UK, according to a survey commissioned by the University and College Union (UCU).

More than three-quarters of the survey’s respondents – made up of 1064 lecturers and professors – said the proposal to link tuition fees to teaching quality using the Teaching Excellence Framework (Tef) would have a negative impact, and 81% opposed plans to give more degree-awarding powers to new education providers. In addition, the majority of respondents said that student satisfaction, graduate employment and student dropout rates – all proposed Tef metrics – were ineffective ways of measuring teaching quality.

‘There are serious misgivings over the Tef and academics simply do not believe the government’s plans to measure teaching quality can be effective,’ said UCU general secretary Sally Hunt in a statement. ‘The level of concern amongst staff about the bill’s plans must be cause for alarm.’ She suggested the government should shelve the ‘divisive’ bill.