Royal Agricultural University awarded prestigious silver ranking for its teaching excellence

28 September 2023

Staff and students at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) are celebrating this week after both the student experience and student outcomes at the University were commended as being of “typically very high quality” in this year’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), announced this morning.


The Cirencester-based university, which was founded in 1845 and celebrates its tenth year as a University this year, was awarded Silver in the latest TEF ratings, a national scheme run by the Office for Students (OfS).

RAU Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter McCaffery said: “We are delighted to have retained our Silver rating in the latest TEF. It is testament to the very high quality and outstanding features of the student experience we provide and the student outcomes we generate.

“Indeed, our Silver Award is a powerful endorsement of a Royal Agricultural University education and our commitment to delivering excellence in all that we do.”

The RAU was previously awarded a Silver rating, which was valid for three years, in the OfS’s inaugural TEF in 2017. However, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the 2020 TEF did not take place and this year’s TEF assessment is the first since 2019.

The TEF aims to encourage higher education providers to improve and deliver excellence in the areas that students care about the most: teaching, learning, and achieving positive outcomes from their studies. Institutions can achieve a Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Requires Improvement rating.

This accolade comes in the same week that the RAU scored top marks for its work with industry and the public sector in the 2023 Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF) which was announced yesterday (Wednesday 27 September).

Less than 18 months ago, more than half the RAU’s research was commended as world leading and internationally excellent in the publication of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) which evaluated the quality and impact of research at UK universities across all disciplines. This result marked a significant improvement for the University, making it among the most improved universities in the country.

Peter McCaffery added: “When you consider the three national assessments over the last 18 months in research (REF), knowledge exchange (KEF), and teaching (TEF) together, they demonstrate that the RAU is punching considerably above its weight. 

“We are delighted that we are the leading specialist university in England for research and knowledge exchange and provide teaching of very high quality and outstanding features. These results are a tribute to the outstanding professionalism of our staff and students, as well as our commitment to making a practical difference locally, nationally, and globally.”