Teaching Excellence Framework - our Student Submission

Find out more about our work as part of national scheme called the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

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Over the last few months, your students’ union has been bringing together information, evidence and stories on your student experience as part of national scheme called the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Ran by the Office for Students (OfS), the initiative aims to encourage all Higher Education Undergraduate providers to develop and deliver excellence focused on: teaching, learning and where students go on to, after their degree. 

For the first time, the Office for Students provided the opportunity for an independent student-led submission to provide a snapshot of what the last four academic years were like to be a student at Greenwich.

Through a series of in-depth interviews with 10 students, we heard a range of lived experiences, highlighting what being a Greenwich student meant to you, and what a sense of belonging looked like to you as an individual student. We’ve captured photographs of the individuals involved in sharing their stories to show the people behind the experiences. 


Naa Kotey, President of Believers Love World Society 



Joseph Bennett, 2nd year Wellbeing & Retention Caller


Zsuzsanna Toth, Global Greenwich Team Leader



Throughout our 10 page document, we’ve worked with these students to highlight particular areas of your experience at Greenwich including:

  • What it’s like to be an international student; “But Global Greenwich feels unique & celebrates different cultures and countries, which makes us feel seen and appreciated.” Zsuzsanna Toth, Global Greenwich Team Leader
  • How practising your faith looks at Greenwich; “My faith is fundamental to my identity, and for me, faith comes above everything else.” Naa Kotey, President of Believers Love World Society 
  • Being a representative on your course, all the way up to being an elected Sabbatical Officer;
    • “I feel in a privileged position being involved in a variety of roles.” Kata Budai, Programme Representative & School Network Officer.
    • “It is important that we attend key University meetings as we provide a unique and genuine feedback to help make positive change.” Yasinur Jabed, 2nd year Sabbatical Officer & President
  • Being part of a student-led group; “No matter your faith, you are valued and feel you can talk about your faith or ethnicity here.” Noor-Ul-Huda Chaudhary, Society Committee Member
  • What it’s like to have a part-time job; “Over the last year, I’ve had three different roles working at the Students’ Union, and within that time I’ve been able to progress to a Supervisor role.” Charlie Williams, Retail Supervisor
  • Your experiences with the BAME Awarding Gap; “Being part of the BAME community, I never knew I could be impacted when it comes to my grades.” Zhai L Cortez, 2nd year Inclusivity Consultant 
  • What diversity and inclusion looks like at Greenwich; “I wanted to get involved to meet more people like me and help create spaces for everyone to connect.” Tam Page, LGBTQ+ Liberation Chair
  • How the University responded to the Covid-19 pandemic; “You never realise a phone call can have a significant impact on someone who really needs it.” Joseph Bennett, 2nd year Wellbeing & Retention Caller



Yasinur Jabed, 2nd year Sabbatical Officer & President


Zhai L Cortez, 2nd year Inclusivity Consultant




Here are some of the key themes within the document that represented your experiences, that we submitted on your behalf as your Students’ Union:

  • We’ve seen an extraordinary rise in academic society membership from 2019/20 by 190%, with 39 incredible academic societies across all Faculties to date
  • Cost of Living is impacting us all in very different ways depending on course, campus and a range of other factors. We will continue to work with the University to make sure we can implement further support for you, including the free community breakfast scheme and food vouchers. 
  • Over 6,000 students every year, for the last four years, get involved in any of our student-led groups. With approx. 4000 getting involved in one of our activity programmes, like Give it A Go. This highlights how important meeting new people, learning skills and building community is at Greenwich.
  • Greenwich being a Global University is so important – and our Global Greenwich programme has delivered 129 events to date, supporting 5,250 international students, with the support of fantastic cultural societies and student staff. 
  • We hire 122 student staff members at GSU in a range of roles including front of house and student researchers.
  • Every year, we audit 40-45 modules to understand what recommendations we can provide to Programme Leaders to helping the BAME Awarding Gap. 
  • Our Wellbeing & Retention Project, introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic, rang all students to provide a check-in and additional support. Every student will receive a call, and has supported over 55,000 calls to date including those experiencing international conflicts or in relation to attendance monitoring. 


Kata Budai, Programme Representative and School Network Officer


Charlie Williams, Retail Supervisor


Noor-Ul-Huda Chaudhary, Society Committee Member



In addition to what we’ve learnt, we have some key areas to take forward on your behalf to represent to the University:

  • We know that registration can be challenging so we are working with the University to explore what solutions we can create based on your feedback. This includes exploring issues with timetabling across campuses. 
  • Employability is really important, it’s even our big Student Priority this year – so we need continue to find opportunities for well paid part-time work and exciting development opportunities, so you can finish your time at Greenwich with clear career pathways. 
  • Having accessible multi-faith space across every campus is important and needs to be informed by students of all faiths, to ensure we have an equitable space for everyone to practice their faith safely.
  • There are experiences at University which can be challenging and difficult for our own lived experiences, such as encountering dead-naming, so we need to continue to work with our Liberation Chairs, to build safe intersectional policies and campaigns so we can all be our true selves on campus. 
  • We need to communicate and build awareness of systematic barriers within Education, including the existence of the BAME Awarding Gap, so students are aware of what can impact there learning experience and work in partnership with the University, to continue developing resolutions to eradicating the gap by 2030. 
  • Our campus is a hub of diverse international culture, and working with our Global Greenwich programme, we need to keep understanding the challenges international students face so we can provide the best quality and relevant support to all our international students. 

Now we have submitted, the next steps are to wait for the Office for Students panel to make a decision on what rating the University of Greenwich receives. You can find out more on the process here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/teaching/about-the-tef/ 

Additionally, if you want to read our full student submission, you can click here to read it (PDF file, opens in the same window).

We would like to say a special thank you to the two student researchers who supported the final version of the document: Jack P Brennand and Sylvester K Gyasi.


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