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27th June, 2017

Central is Awarded Gold Status in the Teaching Excellence Framework

Royal Central School of Speech and Drama - University of London

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is delighted to announce that it has been awarded Gold Status – the highest level to be awarded – in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The TEF, a government initiative, is designed to recognise teaching excellence in higher education.

In their statement of findings, the TEF Panel noted that Central’s students achieve “outstanding outcomes” which “notably exceed benchmarks” alongside findings of “very high levels of satisfaction with academic support and outstanding levels of student satisfaction with teaching on their course”.  In particular, Central was noted as providing “sector-leading provision in disciplines surrounding theatre and the performing arts” whilst consistently preparing its students “to achieve outstanding outcomes in a highly competitive industry”.

Of the results Professor Gavin Henderson CBE, Central’s Principal, said:

“In an uncanny act of serendipity … a group of some forty Central students is currently performing a play about the Midas touch … turning all to Gold, in an old Swindon warehouse, whilst HEFCE has turned our TEF submission to Gold!  Clearly we are delighted to follow up our World Leading recognition in the last REF (for Research), and in the most recent RISTA (Review of specialist funding) with this commendation on our teaching.  Full praise must go to our staff and students for whom this Gold rating is measure of their excellent work.”

Professor Ross Brown, Dean of Central, said:

“Central has now become a byword for excellence in training and teaching for theatre.  Our learning environment is enriched by close ties to industry and by leading edge research.  We set ourselves high standards, and would not have been content with anything less than Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework.  However, we are of course delighted with this result and its recognition of our truly excellent teachers.  We shouldn’t forget that this is also a testament to our students, who come to Central to learn but also to collaborate in our project to shape the future of theatre and performance.”

Dr Catherine McNamara, Central’s Pro-Dean and Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience, said:

“To be awarded Gold Status in the Teaching Excellence Framework is for me, an acknowledgment of the history of incredibly skilled teaching professionals and the committed and focussed students that have made Central what it is over the years.  We build on the strength and calibre of past generations when we recruit lecturers, professors, media, wardrobe and other technical staff, disability practitioners, research fellows, industry professionals and the many other staff that contribute to the work that students undertake while they are with us.  Our students and our graduates tell us frequently that they value the teaching and learning experiences they have with us.  I’m very proud of the outstanding work that we do.”

The TEF awards were decided by an independent panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives. Drawing on national data, and evidence submitted by each university or college, the TEF measures excellence in three areas: teaching quality, the learning environment and the educational and professional outcomes achieved by students.

Professor Chris Husbands, Chair of the TEF assessment panel and Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said:

“The Teaching Excellence Framework results offer – for the first time – an overview of teaching excellence across the entire UK higher education sector. It has been a privilege to chair this ambitious and ground-breaking assessment.  Alongside the headline results, we are publishing all the data and submissions, and statements of the assessors’ findings. Taken together, this is a set of material on teaching excellence which goes further than has been possible for any other university system in the world.”

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