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TEC's Performance-Based Research Fund Released

Tertiary Education Commission’s Performance-Based Research Fund Released Tonight Ahead Of Planned Date

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) tonight publicly released its Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) report ‘Evaluating Research Excellence: the 2003 Assessment.’ The report has been released earlier than the planned date of next Wednesday (April 28) because a news media had obtained a copy and intends publishing key findings tomorrow.

“We are disappointed that the report has been leaked because we made a commitment to the participating tertiary education organisations’ staff that they would know their results first and this is an important piece of public policy of great significance to the country,” said Acting TEC Chair Kaye Turner.

An Overview document which contains the key findings, as well as the full report, is available on

Kaye Turner says the results are a comprehensive assessment, for the first time, of the pattern of quality of academic research in New Zealand.

“The PBRF results reveal significant strength in most of the country’s universities and in many subject areas. The PBRF rewards research activities of national and international excellence and provides a powerful new incentive for tertiary education organisations (TEOs) to concentrate their research around areas of excellence.

“The PBRF 2003 Quality Evaluation shows there are a substantial number of academics in TEOs undertaking research of a world-class standard,” says Ms Turner. “Of the 8,013 staff eligible to have their research assessed in the PBRF process, 5.7% (Full-Time Equivalent staff) were assigned an “A” Quality Category, the highest score, which signifies their research work is world-class.

“The PBRF process was developed in consultation with the tertiary education sector. The TEC and the Ministry of Education audited the Quality Evaluation to ensure it was conducted in a fair, robust and consistent manner. 165 highly respected New Zealand and international academic experts were in the 12 subject area review panels which assessed and assigned ratings to the thousands of academics who took part in the PBRF process. The assessment process was of the highest integrity.

The PBRF Process

The full PBRF report on the TEC website should be consulted for a thorough understanding of the basis on which research academics were assessed and rated and what the “A”, “B”, “C” and “R” Quality Scores signify. The full report also explains the three components of the PBRF: a periodic Quality Evaluation by expert panels to assess the quality of academics’ research performance and outputs on the basis of the Evidence Portfolios each supplies; the number of degree completions each TEO achieves and each TEO’s external research income.

The three components are weighted 60/25/15 respectively and determine how much funding each TEO is allocated by the PBRF.

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