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

 


Research Funding Should "Support Academic Freedom

Research Funding Should "Support Academic Freedom


Academic Freedom Aotearoa supports the minister’s desire to place "a higher value on research that meets user needs", but we are concerned that those who offer "research funds and contract research" will have their needs met at the expense of the rest of New Zealand society, says Academic Freedom Aotearoa chairperson Professor Jack Heinemann.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce's announcement today acknowledging the flaws in the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF), a mechanism of distributing funding to universities and other research-oriented tertiary institutions, is timely. He states he is reviewing PBRF to simplify "the research assessment process, saving time and reducing costs", reforms that researchers and academics have called for since its introduction over a decade ago. He promised to ‘clarify the objectives of PBRF’.

"Its about time that this massive fund had clear objectives," says Professor Heinemann. "And hopefully those objectives will serve all stakeholders equally well. So far, I don’t believe that they have."

"We hope that the Minister will formally recognise the important role of the critic and conscience of society. He could tie some PBRF funding to this fundamental role," Professor Heinemann said.

"When academic staff and students serve as critic and conscience they may from time-to-time challenge government, industry and civil society agendas and thereby fall out of favour with those wealthy enough to offer grants and contracts. But the critic and conscience role helps to create space for new ideas and new entrepreneurs as well as prevent poor policy and products” said Professor Heinemann.

"To do nothing now to promote the role of the critic and conscience would be to prolong the life of a funding mechanism that encourages conformity and obedience, rather than innovation and novelty."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news