Teaching Excellence at
York St John University

At York St John we take pride in the quality of our teaching, in particular the personalised support offered to every individual student.

History lectureWe always aim to respond positively to feedback to help us provide an exceptional learning experience.

In June 2017 the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published awards to individual universities based on an assessment of several areas of student experience. These awards are known as the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). They use information from a variety of sources, like the National Student Survey (NSS) and employment data, to decide which award to give. The areas they focus on are:

  • The teaching students experience on their course
  • The assessment and feedback students receive 
  • The academic support students receive
  • The number of students who stay on their course, rather than choosing to leave
  • How many students go onto employment or further study
  • How many students go into jobs or courses that utilise the ‘higher skills’ they have developed at university.

They also take into account a written submission of evidence from the university.

TEF Bronze logoYork St John has been granted a Bronze TEF Award. This means that the University delivers teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

Our strengths:

In feedback to the University about our TEF Award we were told we have:

  • Good levels of student engagement and commitment to study, supported by the University’s community ethos.
  • A learning environment that is enriched by student involvement in provision.
  • A culture of personalised learning for most students, supported by innovative measures to support vulnerable students, including those with mental health challenges.
  • A culture that facilitates and rewards excellent teaching.

In addition to these strengths, our TEF submission also highlighted evidence of:

  • The University’s strong performance on ensuring our academics have the right skills to be able to teach effectively.  We are third in the UK for the proportion of our staff with a formal teaching qualification.
  • The long term employability of our graduates - we give graduates the skills and confidence to move into work or further study and still be in employment or education five years after graduating.
  • The individual support and guidance pupils are offered. We perform well nationally on enabling our graduates to feel they can think creatively and act independently.

Our priorities:

The areas where the TEF panel agreed that the university can develop further are:

  • Helping more of our graduates into highly skilled work: York St John is in the top 20% of English Universities for the percentage of our graduates who are working or studying five years after graduating. Our graduates also earn on average over £1500 more a year than people aged 25-29 who have not gone to university. We’re now focusing on helping more of our graduates get jobs classed as ‘highly skilled’ to get the most out of the abilities they learn through their degree. By working with a wider range of employers, helping our students be proactive about developing their careers and focusing our courses on areas of growing demand, we are seeing more examples of this happening.
  • Making sure the assessment and feedback students receive is of a consistently high quality across all courses and modules: In our 2016 National Student Survey results there was a mix of views from students about the academic feedback they received. In some areas this was felt to be excellent, whilst in others it was felt this could be better.  We’ve been looking at good practice from within and outside the University and applying it more consistently across all our courses to respond to this.

Find out more:

You can read what the panel who gave the university a Bronze Award said in their feedback.

If you’d like to know more about our focus on teaching excellence at York St John, get in touch or come and visit, we always welcome the chance to talk through any aspect of the support we provide for our students.

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