Higher Education Policy

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 297–319 | Cite as

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and Its Impact on Academic Identity Within A Research-Intensive University

  • Graham PerkinsEmail author
Original Article


This study explores the impact of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) on academic identity within the context of a UK-based research-intensive higher education institution. TEF is the latest in a series of changes that have impacted upon the UK’s HE sector and it is highly likely to have a significant impact upon academic identity. Collecting evidence through sixteen qualitative interviews, findings show that while TEF may not alter the broad substance of what it means to be an academic in terms of engagement with research, education and citizenship activities, it has the potential to have profound implications in terms of exacerbating conflicts within identity. This paper argues that negative work outcomes result where role conflicts, and mismatches between expectation and reward, create difficulties in realising our desired versions of ourselves. Theoretical contributions relevant to debates around identity conflict are discussed, with practical contributions exploring the importance of resource allocations and the need to align expectations and rewards.


identity academic identity conflict identity conflict TEF teaching excellence framework 


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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Exeter Business SchoolExeterUK

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