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Assessing all the information that goes into the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) awards is a major undertaking, and the panellists and assessors who do this work are vital to the process. 

Blog post 3: Sala Kamkosi Banda-Khulumula

“My passion in life is to be a voice for the voiceless. A voice for those marginalised by society, for those scared to speak up and those who cannot speak up. Being a young, black, African woman, I have had so many labels and have had my voice silenced and challenged for one reason or the other. Opening my mouth allows me to give freedom to other people’s voice – this is my motivation for representing the student voice.

“Being selected as a student panel member for the TEF was a new challenge. For a moment my voice quietened down again, as I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of academic achievements and experience I saw. TEF has given me the opportunity not only to raise the banner for students, but to build my confidence and people skills.

“The TEF team has been encouraging, supportive and open to the student voice.

“This process has shown me how our voice is not just taken on board but is actually making a difference.

“With the current changes in the higher education landscape, we have to ensure we are getting our money’s worth in our overall student experience. TEF is a platform that can allow us, as students, to activate the change we envisage if we do not want higher education to be a passive experience.

“TEF has given me a better insight and understanding of what higher education looks like in the UK and I have come to the conclusion that students are the heart of higher education. It is now our duty to ensure this organ stays healthy by us exercising every muscle within our student body that will allow the system to function effectively, and sustain life in higher education.”


HEFCE is currently looking for student representatives to get involved as TEF panellists and assessors. The closing date is 6 October.

Find out more and apply

Read more about the TEF