Meeting the TEF challenge

Meeting the TEF challenge

The new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is now in place to assess the quality of teaching at universities. The TEF will have a major impact on universities and will determine the tuition fees institutions can charge.

Under the TEF, Universities will be awarded a Meets ExpectationsExcellent orOutstanding ​rating based on a number of measures- including Employability.

In year one (2016/17) and year two (2017/18) of the TEF, universities that are rated as ‘Meeting Expectations’ will be able to raise their tuition fees in line with inflation. However, In year three (2018/19) there will be two fee levels; Universities rated as ‘Meeting Expectations’ can only raise their fees by up to 50% of the inflationary uplift, and those with a rating of ‘Excellent’ or ‘Outstanding’ can raise their fees by up to 100% of the inflationary uplift.

With Employability a key measure, universities that only ‘Meet Expectations’ could find that not being able to increase fees fully in line with inflation could have a major impact on their finances. Therefore tracking employability and having ready access to auditable data will become increasingly vital.

Here’s where Keystone’s Talent Bank solution makes a huge difference: not only does it radically improve the opportunities to offer students, graduates and alumni employment, but tracking and reporting on that activity in real time with a rich range of data on the type of work, pay rates and frequency is also far easier than ever before.

One of the major historic challenges for universities is how they actually track, monitor and report on their employability outcomes. Often they have to try and pull data from a variety of sources (HR, recruitment agencies, job shops, the students themselves) and that is a laborious process with mixed results. The Destination of Leavers from Higher Eduction survey (DLHE) is a good illustration of how tough it can be, phoning round graduates to find out if they are now in full time employment.

Keystone’s Talent Bank address all of the challenges that employability poses. Firstly, it allows a university, and its business partners to immediately tap into a university student talent pool anytime, anywhere. By placing the whole process online, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a university moves away from the constraints of an on-campus job shop for all their activity. Students now expect to be able to handle all their affairs online, especially job offers and of course having the whole job offer process online means that data points are aplenty.

A university can see how many employers are looking at student profiles, they can see what skills they need. They can trace which type of students are getting work offers, from who, at what pay rates and over what period of time. A student has a living breathing online profile and adds work experience and references automatically as they complete work assignments.

Because all timesheets and compliance/right to work information is also securely online, all essential information is in one place and can be reported on instantly, in any format, with a wealth of reporting to aid audits, decision making and performance management.

So Talent Bank makes it easier, cheaper and faster to find students employment and radically improves the way a university can prove it is meeting its employability targets and objectives.

Only being able to uplift tuition fees by 50% of any inflationary increase could cost some universities millions. With much of the emphasis on improving the quality of teaching, it seems sensible to make light work of the employability part. In this day and age technology such as Talent Bank can do the heavy lifting and allow universities to focus on the academic targets.