Birkbeck awarded a silver Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) medal

The TEF aims to bolster social mobility and tackle inequality by allowing students to fulfil their aspirations and progress onto their chosen careers and Birkbeck’s Silver award recognises our unique and successful model for doing just that

Birkbeck has been allocated a Silver award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the Government’s new system for rating university teaching, while new government data shows Birkbeck graduates’ salaries are among the highest in the UK, five years after graduation.

The TEF aims to bolster social mobility and tackle inequality by allowing students to fulfil their aspirations and progress onto their chosen careers and Birkbeck’s Silver award recognises our unique and successful model for doing just that – through evening, face-to-face and part-time teaching.

The TEF Panel’s judgement acknowledges Birkbeck’s work to attract and support students from diverse backgrounds, mature learners and those who would not otherwise have engaged with Higher Education and help them progress into postgraduate study or graduate jobs. It also notes our institutional culture which ‘facilitates, recognises and rewards excellent teaching and a curriculum at the forefront of research’.

The Silver award come hot on the heels of a successful showing for Birkbeck in the government’s recently released Longitudinal Educational Outcomes (LEO) salary data, which reinforces Birkbeck’s added value; our students are the 14th highest earners among UK graduates and sixth highest in London for the subjects we teach, outstripping the salaries of graduates from universities including the London School of Economics and Queen Mary, University of London.

Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck, said: “Students come to Birkbeck because they know we change lives. Our track record of opening routes to highly-skilled employment – particularly for those students beginning their studies without standard academic qualifications – shows the added value of our excellent teaching.

“Our mission is to make previously unthinkable life choices thinkable and achievable – this is a transformative impact demonstrated by the high proportion of our undergraduates who go on to postgraduate study and graduate level employment.”

Birkbeck has a very successful role in widening participation: 45% of our students are aged 25 to 39 years; a fifth are aged 40 or over; over 40% are black and minority ethnic people; many come from low income household. And we have an exceptional set of student outcomes: TEF data shows 78.5% of part-time and 74.3% of full-time Birkbeck students go on to highly skilled employment or further study, and that this is significantly higher than sector averages. 

The TEF data also shows that Birkbeck’s part-time students rate the university significantly above sector averages for teaching in the National Student Survey, giving the college an overall score of 89.9%. 

Birkbeck’s model of education recognises many of our students do not want to, or cannot, give up their daytime jobs or family responsibilities; 76% of our students work while studying. This tremendous dedication and determination to succeed means our graduates are highly valued by employers and go on to earn higher salaries than graduates from other universities. For example, Birkbeck economics graduates earn more than those from every university except Cambridge five years after graduation, according to the LEO data.

Birkbeck is also one of the world’s leading research universities with a vibrant, intellectually-challenging research culture. Students benefit from research-led teaching in a university where 73% of research was rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.