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Colleges of Ed lose valuable research funding

Colleges of Education lose valuable research funding

The country’s Colleges of Education stand to lose $1.2 million in research funding over the next three years because of a new funding allocation scheme.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) today released details of the new Performance-Based Research Funding (PBRF), which rank the institutions. The report shows that research funding for Colleges of Education will be severely curtailed because of the new ranking system.

Director of the Association of Colleges of Education in New Zealand (ACENZ),Graeme Oldershaw says colleges will have to discuss alternative funding opportunities with the Government.

“We need to prevent a repeat of what happened in the UK, where there was a significant decline in the amount of research in teaching institutions when assessment funding was introduced.

“We’re not at all surprised by the rankings of the Colleges in the report as PBRF is designed for universities which are research institutions, whereas Colleges carry out practice-based research not recognised by the new funding scheme.”

Mr Oldershaw says despite the setback, the Colleges remain committed to developing research informed teaching.

“It is only since 1993 that colleges have taught their own degrees. All degree programmes have to be underpinned by appropriate research. Our students are interested in the quality of research but they measure it by the impact it has in the classroom.”

Mr Oldershaw says it is not possible to equate performance in the PBRF with the quality of the college of education programmes.

“It’s misleading to compare institutions from different parts of the tertiary sector. It’s like comparing apples and pears. We can only hope that the methodology in the future will better recognise and reward the valuable research being done in places other than universities.

“In the meantime, we will be doing all we can to secure funding for research in Colleges so that our teachers can make the best possible contribution towards building the knowledge economy.”

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