FOUR universities in the region scored silver in new assessments of higher education teaching, with one getting gold.

Newcastle University was the only North-East university to get gold in the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside universities all got silver.

The Government introduced the TEF to provide students with better information about the quality of degree programmes and is linked to university’s ability to increase tuition fees.

Currently, university’s must participate in the TEF to be able to raise fees in line with inflation.

In the future, rises in fees may be tied to TEF results, with only those scoring highly able to make increases.

More than 130 UK universities and other higher education institutions participated in the TEF and were awarded gold, silver or bronze ratings for the quality of their teaching.

Eight Russell Group universities gained gold with a further ten getting silver.