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AUS welcomes PBRF report’s release

Association of University Staff

Media Release

Attn Education Reporter 22 August 2008

AUS welcomes PBRF report’s release

The Association of University Staff welcomes the release today of the Adams Report commissioned by the Tertiary Education Commission to review the Performance-Based research Fund. The report was produced by Dr Jonathan Adams of Evidence Limited, a UK-based research company. Earlier this year, Dr Adams spent some weeks in New Zealand meeting staff and managers of tertiary-education institutions and collecting data by means of consultations, interviews, and focus groups.

AUS national president, Associate Professor Maureen Montgomery, acknowledged that the report has covered many of the issues of concern that the union and its members have raised about the PBRF, and that some of the conclusions Dr Adams reaches may well cause controversy. “That Dr Adams has not hesitated to raise and discuss such a range of issues in relation to the PBRF confirms for us that this report is indeed a genuinely independent review, said Dr Montgomery. We are particularly pleased to note that issues such as the reporting of individual scores and the use of PBRF grades in performance appraisals are considered in the report.”

Dr Montgomery further observed that, given the issues Dr Adams has noted in his report, it is AUS’s view that after the 2012 round the sector needs to find better solutions for developing sustainable research profiles in tertiary-education institutions. “In our view, the PBRF, as it is currently operating, will make little contribution to achieving the long-term development of a research culture in this country. A move away from the individual unit of assessment would go some way towards addressing this issue; other options, however, need to be further explored to ensure our sector is well-placed to meet the local and global challenges of sustaining a high-quality research culture,” Dr Montgomery concluded.

ENDS

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