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NUS launches campaign to cut link between tuition fees and Teaching Excellence Framework

Tuesday 11 October 2016

The National Union of Students (NUS) is today launching a campaign to sever the link between tuition fees and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The proposal is part of the government’s higher education reforms and would have a damaging impact on students.

The introduction of the TEF would allow universities that score highly to raise their tuition fees from £9,000 to over £10,000 by 2020, with fees continuing to rise each year with inflation. NUS is opposed to further fee rises and we believe measuring teaching quality is an extremely complicated task. 

We will now support students' unions in England to take action against the TEF. This will involve helping students’ unions get their vice chancellors on board and lobbying parliament to cut the link between the TEF and fees. If this is unsuccessful, NUS will support students’ unions that decide to encourage students not to fill in the National Student Survey (NSS).

Policy was passed at NUS’ national conference in April to fight back against the TEF and further consultation with higher education students’ unions between July and September revealed the majority of NUS’ membership support this move. In total, 66 per cent of students’ unions are interested in some form of action involving the NSS in response to the government’s higher education reforms.


Sorana Vieru, NUS vice president (higher education), said: 

“The government’s higher education reforms threaten the future of our entire education system and risk shutting students out with exorbitant tuition fees. Our membership has demanded we campaign to sever the link between the TEF and fees, even if that means taking radical action. The student voice is so important, and students’ concerns have so far been ignored throughout this process. NUS will be behind students’ unions 100 per cent of the way as we stand up for current and future students.”


Malia Bouattia, NUS president, said: 

“I’m proud to lead an organisation that listens to its members, and our membership has made it clear we need to take action to cut the link between the TEF and tuition fees – by any means necessary. It is unacceptable that universities will be able to raise their fees even higher, and even more outrageous this increase will be dictated by a crude measuring tool like the TEF.”





Notes to editors:


  1. For more information please contact the NUS Press Office on 07866 695010 or
  2. A blog from Sorana Vieru is available here.
  3. A total of 74 unions engaged in the consultation exercise, representing about 45 per cent of NUS’ eligible higher education membership. The full consultation report is available here.
  4. More information about NUS’ opposition to the link between the TEF and higher tuition fees is available here.