Teaching excellence

TEF Silver logo

Here at ARU, we're proud of our teaching quality, which has been recognised by external commendations and awards – and by our students through national surveys.

Teaching Excellence Framework Silver award

We are delighted to hold a TEF Silver award, which reflects the high quality of teaching delivered by our talented staff.

Our TEF Silver award means that we deliver high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for our students and consistently exceed rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education. We are particularly pleased that our assessment highlighted very high levels of student satisfaction and that most of our students achieve excellent outcomes.

It was particularly pleasing that the TEF Panel stated we were ‘notably above our benchmark’ as we had ‘very high levels of student satisfaction with teaching, assessment and feedback, and academic support'.

The TEF panel recognised that we are transforming lives through innovation, inclusive and entrepreneurial education, which is reflected in our new vision and desire to provide 'An outstanding and inclusive educational experience' in our University Strategy, Designing our future 2017-26.

When awarding the Silver rating to ARU, the TEF Panel made particular reference to:

  • our strategic approach to inclusive learning, assessment and feedback, including the use of online tools valued by students
  • a strategic and embedded commitment to employer engagement, as exemplified by employer forums and advisory boards that support a largely Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) orientated curriculum, with highly valued placement and industry links
  • high-quality employer engagement, with placements and industry links embedded in a curriculum in which the majority of programmes have Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditation
  • high levels of staff engagement with the University’s continuing professional development programme and the Higher Education Academy-accredited recognition scheme, including the Good Teaching Project and Toolkit
  • appropriate support for students at risk of non-continuation through a student engagement dashboard and personal tutoring system
  • significant investment in the physical and digital resources used by students to further learning, including the remodelled library to facilitate a range of learning styles.

We are going to build on this feedback and – through highly innovative approaches to education, and in delivering a consistent experience across all our campuses and partners – we aim to become an educational leader whose benchmarked student outcomes consistently place us in the top quartile nationally.

Staff teaching awards and recognition

Our academic teaching staff are among the most qualified and recognised in the country.

  • According to figures provided by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), in 2017-2018 the percentage of our teaching staff who were recognised by the HEA was over 78%, against a sector average of 42%.
  • The most recent figures (2015-16) from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) put us in the top 16 institutions in England for the percentage of staff holding a teaching qualification: 76% against a sector average of 51%.
  • In September 2018, Senior Learning Technologist Paul Driver won the prestigious Association for Learning Technology Learning Technologist of the Year award for his innovative work with virtual reality here at ARU.
  • In June 2017 Dr Zoë Bennett was presented with the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship for her 'outstanding contribution to theological education in East Anglia and beyond'.
  • A number of our academic teachers/supporters of learning have been successful in achieving University Teaching Fellowships for the excellence of their teaching.
  • In December 2017, Dr Mat Timmis was accredited by the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science (BASES) for applied sport/exercise science pedagogy and is one of a handful people in the country who have achieved this award.

We support the development of teaching excellence by annually offering any colleagues who are involved in teaching or supporting learning, the chance to be awarded a grant which they may use to develop their teaching practice. Many of these projects result in enhancements to the student learning experience, and are saved in our Pedagogic Resource Directory, which you are free to access.

We have a thriving community of academics who are committed to improving learning and teaching practice. They're supported by our Centre for Innovation in Higher Education (CIHE).