Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Research fund an exam worth preparing for

18 MARCH 2004

Research fund an exam worth preparing for

If the Performance Based Research Fund is the equivalent of an exam for tertiary institutions, then Unitec New Zealand has found the exam preparation a useful experience.

Unitec is one of 22 tertiary institutions being assessed on their research outputs and ranked for the PBRF, with the results due to be released next week. President Dr John Webster said the process had been enormously beneficial for Unitec, as it had helped focus efforts and indicated areas of future development.

However, in commenting on the injunction taken out by Victoria and Auckland University to stop the release of the PBRF results, Dr Webster said their concerns were quite different to any Unitec might have.

"It is clear that Auckland and Victoria see their reputation as being driven by the outcome of the PBRF exercise. We don't, because we have a much broader conception of what a university is."

The PBRF was more relevant for New Zealand's traditional universities, he said, which were research-led institutions.

"We have a broader set of guiding parameters, with our teaching informed by research and practice - rather than being purely research-led. And our international affiliations are with new generation or dual-sector universities with a similar view."

Dr Webster said he did have a concern that the averaging of the rankings on an institutional basis or by academic grouping might disguise areas of excellence.

"The lack of benchmarking available for the emerging disciplines such as landscape architecture and osteopathy, which make up an important part of Unitec's dual-sector profile, is also a concern. But Steve Maharey has already indicated that there are likely to be modifications to the PBRF process in subsequent rounds."

Although being a dual-sector institution has meant not all Unitec's staff were included in the PBRF process, Dr Webster said all staff were involved in research or advanced professional practice, with many doing both.

"We ensure that our students are taught in a research culture so they understand the importance of pushing boundaries and looking for innovative solutions to workplace challenges. The research undertaken by Unitec staff is often of an applied nature, creating an enthusiastic environment for teaching and ensuring that students are on the cutting edge of industry."

Dr Webster said that with the recent implementation of a new structure to strengthen Unitec's dual-sector approach, the PBRF process had helped confirm that the institution was heading in the right direction.

"We are in the business of upskilling, educating people for work, in work and through work - in line with the Government's goals. That is why students choose to study here, so we are comfortable with the PBRF process, regardless of what the results are."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>


Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>