This means that the quality of teaching and support for degree level students at the College is rated as outstanding. Only 20% of the Higher Education sector have been awarded Gold status. Specifically, in the words of the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) judgement: “Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes, in particular with regard to progression to highly skilled employment or further study by full-time students.”
The Teaching Excellence Framework - the first scheme of its kind - recognises excellent teaching and learning across the UK’s world-class Higher Education sector. In order to be considered for a TEF rating, Higher Education providers have to meet demanding national quality requirements. The TEF measures excellence above and beyond this.
Truro and Penwith College’s TEF report is particularly positive about the, “outstanding levels of satisfaction with assessment and feedback, and academic support.” This comes at a time when many leading universities are struggling to achieve the highest TEF Gold Award, and in the context of rising levels of student dissatisfaction in some higher education provisions.
Truro and Penwith College Principal David Walrond is delighted with the Gold award: “This is an extremely positive outcome for our Higher Education provision. The College has achieved the highest ranking possible and alongside our Ofsted Outstanding status this shows the strength and quality of the University courses we offer. We will continue to develop this provision for local people in Cornwall, providing a real highest quality alternative for school leavers who want to stay in the county and adult learners who are ready to retrain.”
The TEF panel highlighted a number of key strengths in its findings including course development and enhancement, personalised support, employability advice and the provision of high-quality physical and digital resources.
Tom Sugg, outgoing Lead Student Representative at the College, who helped contribute to the TEF Panel said: “I was so pleased to be able to contribute to the submission made to HEFCE on behalf of the student body at the College. It’s fantastic to see that the hard work of all staff has really paid off, which is reflected in this Gold TEF status. Having studied a foundation degree, top-up degree and now completing my PGCE teaching qualification at Truro and Penwith College, I can confirm that the quality of Higher Education is strong and the support for learners within the county continues to be outstanding.”
The newly appointed Programme Team Leader for Higher Education at Truro Penwith College, Dr Andrew Smart, added: “The College has demonstrated the sheer quality of the courses on offer, but more importantly this Gold status recognises the hard work that staff contribute to the institution. There is strong support available for learners who have recently left school or college as well as mature students, ensuring that people can utilise their time here to develop careers and futures to give valuable skills back to the community. It’s never too late to consider Higher Education and with the right attitude, the benefits that can be gained can really transform lives.”