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Symonds celebrates silver award for outstanding teaching

Peter Symonds Adult and Higher Education Department (AHED) in Winchester is delighted to have been awarded Silver by the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) in its most recent assessments.

The TEF is a government assessment of the quality of undergraduate teaching in universities and other higher education providers in England.

AHED, which offers foundation and full honours degree programmes in a range of subjects, has approximately 250 higher education degree students per year and is a pioneer of the degree apprenticeship model of studying for a degree one day a week whilst continuing in employment.

The TEF was introduced by the Government in England to encourage higher education providers to work with their students to identify, pursue and maintain excellence in teaching and learning outcomes, complementing the existing assessment system for research. The TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, learning environment, and educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

AHED’s Silver TEF award confirms that it delivers high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students and demonstrates that AHED consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

Alex Day, Director of Adult Education at Peter Symonds, said, “Our commitment to enabling those who would not normally consider university as an option to achieve degree level qualifications is resolute. With this comes a strong ethos of teaching excellence, continuous improvement and working in partnership with our students to ensure each individual fulfils their potential. Our learning environment is engaging and supportive, embeds professionalism in our students, provides challenge and inspiration and prepares them to develop and enhance their career in the local area.

We are delighted to have these qualities recognised by the TEF assessments and also by the students themselves, as demonstrated by our outstanding National Student Survey results of 93% for overall student satisfaction.

The TEF panel of experts made up of academics, students and experts on employment praised AHED for its “strategic initiatives that ensure teaching standards are continuously maintained and developed,” “opportunities presented to students to engage with industry practitioners and acquire knowledge, skills and understanding that are highly valued by employers” and “comprehensive support systems for learners who have been out of education for a significant period of time, and learners from a non-traditional background.

Alex added, “We celebrate diversity and aim to offer a more inclusive approach to gaining a higher education qualification by encouraging those individuals who are unable to give up a job, or view the cost of obtaining a higher education qualification via the traditional university route as prohibitive. Students benefit from increased confidence, knowledge and the ability to think, reason and debate at a higher level. We believe this is essential in terms of ensuring a stable and productive society for the future.”

Stephen Carville, Principal at Peter Symonds, added, “Our College has a well-established reputation for excellence and is committed to raising achievement so that all learners from all backgrounds do their very best in relation to their learning goals, prior attainment and potential, no matter what route they choose to take.”


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