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

 

Shipped On A Bottle: Young Change-Makers Take To The Sea On Plastic Bottle Kayaks

With the aim of harnessing innovative design to construct kayaks solely from recycled materials, the “waste positive” project Plastic Bottle Kayak brings adventure into Kiwi classrooms. The call is out now for classrooms to send in messages and artwork to be inserted into the bottles. More>>

TV3 Video: Auckland Arts Festival Kicks Off

The Auckland Arts Festival kicks off March 4, with artists from New Zealand and all over the world on show. More>>

ALSO:

Te Matatini: Minister Applauds National Kapa Haka Festival

Education Minister Hekia Parata wishes the best of luck to everyone involved in this week’s national kapa haka festival, Te Matatini, in Christchurch. “Te Matatini showcases the very best of Māori performing arts talent. It’s a celebration of identity, language and culture at the highest level and I’m looking forward to being amongst it,” says Ms Parata. More>>

ALSO:

Kiwi Pride: Accolades For Film About Man Who Falls In Love With A Stick

A short animated film written and directed by New Zealand born Matthew Darragh has been selected for the Courts des îles, International Festival of Short Fiction Films. More>>

ALSO:

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news