Skip to main content Accessibility Statement


This project explores the approaches institutions are taking to identify educational gain, building on extensive work across the sector to research measures of learning gain and student engagement over the past decade.


Evaluating and refining measures of educational gain support providers to identify positive student outcomes and associated good practices. Broader measures of student success enable students to be active agents in their holistic student experience and account for the knowledge, skills and competencies they have gained.


Provider and student submissions for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in September 2023 offer a unique resource to explore how institutions are accounting for the outcomes of their students.  Analysis of submissions will also draw out methodological approaches for capturing discipline-specific learning, broader knowledge acquisition, skills and competencies.


The project team will explore how different measures are used across institutional types, subjects and level of study, as well as the degree of student engagement.


Research shows that numerous factors influence educational gain in higher education, with single metrics failing to capture the variety of gains that students make in higher education.


This project has produced a literature review, which aims to synthesise existing research on educational gain in higher education.


Providing insight into the concept of gains, the review concludes that effective pedagogical strategies, such as active learning, collaborative projects, and student-centred approaches, are linked to improved educational gain.


The project will lead to the development of:


Educational Gain Literature Summary

Publication date: 01 Aug 2023

  • a framework for classifying and categorising measures of education gain
  • an analysis of measures of educational gain as evidence of quality
  • practical case studies of how data was captured, embedded in wider quality assurance processes and utilised by staff and students – this will support other providers to identify their own unique approaches to educational gain and address areas for improvement
  • recommendations of good practice for institutions to holistically capture student success
  • a guide for students to reflect on and account for their own learning and wider student experience


Imperial College London


Bath Spa University, Liverpool John Moores University, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), The Open University, University of Birmingham, University of Cambridge, University of East Anglia, University of Exeter, University of Manchester, University of Plymouth, University of Portsmouth, University of Warwick

Other Collaborative Enhancement Projects

QAA supports a number of projects every year, covering a range of topics and interest areas. Each is led by a QAA Member, working in collaboration with other members institutions. You can find more information on all projects, and access resources and outputs, on our website.