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Four universities celebrate government's "Gold" rating - while two others don't make the grade

Four universities in the Meridian region are celebrating being awarded prestigious 'gold' ratings in the government’s first assessment of teaching excellence in higher education.

The Universities of Oxford, Portsmouth, Kent and Surrey all achieved the highest category for the quality of their teaching and learning.

In contrast the University of Southampton - which is a Russell Group university and has traditionally performed well in university league tables - has been given a bronze, putting it in the bottom quarter:

It is hard to have confidence in a Teaching Excellence Framework which appears devoid of any meaningful assessment of teaching.

I know I am not alone in having deep concerns about its subjective assessment, its lack of transparency, and with different benchmarks for each institution removing any sense of equity and equality of assessment. "

Our own student satisfaction metrics, including satisfaction with teaching, are better than some of those universities who have been awarded Silver and Gold today. This was a pilot scheme and there are serious lessons to be learned if the TEF is to gain public confidence.”

– Sir Christopher Snowden, President and Vice Chancellor of Southampton

It's a double blow for the city of Southampton because its second university - Southampton Solent - which prides itself on its vocational teaching and the employability of its students - was also given a bronze.

A total of 295 universities and colleges took part in the TEF.

59 providers were rated gold, 116 silver and 56 bronze. The performance of universities including student drop out rates, student satisfaction and whether or not students were in graduate level jobs six months after finishing their courses were analysed.

Universities were benchmarked so their outcomes were only compared with similar universities.

The Vice Chancellor of Portsmouth Professor Graham Galbraith said he was delighted with the gold rating - and that judging universities by their teaching was long overdue:

It does seem rather preposterous that we have never had any official government assessment of the quality of teaching before now.

The main purpose of universities is providing education to students. It is a good thing that we are now trying to measure it and I think it will have an impact because it will shuffle universities and resort them in the pecking order."

– Professor Graham Galbraith, ice Chancellor of Portsmouth

Here are the full results for Universities in the Meridian region.

  • University of Oxford - GOLD
  • University of Surrey - GOLD
  • University of Kent - GOLD
  • University of Buckingham (private) - GOLD
  • University of Portsmouth - GOLD
  • Arts University - Bournemouth - GOLD
  • University of Surrey - GOLD
  • Oxford Brookes University - SILVER
  • University of Reading - SILVER
  • University of Winchester - SILVER
  • Bournemouth University - SILVER
  • University of Brighton - SILVER
  • University of Chichester - SILVER
  • University of Sussex - SILVER
  • Canterbury Christchurch University - SILVER
  • Buckinghamshire New University - BRONZE
  • University of Southampton - BRONZE
  • Southampton Solent University- BRONZE

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Your pets looking cool, keeping cool in the heatwave

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When we did a Facebook call-out for photos of your pets keeping cool in the heatwave, we didn't expect to receive such adorable photos! Thank you!

Keep checking back - photos will be updated throughout the day.

Joanna Swan: Frankie's been in her paddling pool to keep cool in Emsworth.

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Rob Amber Morphett: Herbie in Bexhill under a cold wet tea towel!

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Michelle Streeter: This is 10 month old Monty having a great time in his pool, keeping cool in Paddock Wood, Kent.

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Tracey Ridley: Bud from Lancing, keeping cool under the table with fan.

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Maria Voysey: Ruby and Jasmine keeping cool in Whitstable.

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Frankie Humphries: This is Ruby from Gillingham keeping cool.

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Linda Brammer: 7 year old Newfoundland, Marley, in a friend's pool in Poole, Dorset.

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