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

 

Academic freedom under attack

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Academic freedom under attack

30 Nov 2015

The police constraints on Dr Jarrod Gilbert's research on gangs are an example of widespread and long-lasting restrictions on academic research contracts that are funded by government departments.

Contracted research routinely exercises strict control over the entire project, including many aspects of project methodology, the data gathered, interpretation, and final write-up. In particular, funding agencies regularly hoard the reports and limit the opportunities for researchers to publish their studies.

Contract providers often demand the right to approve the content of researchers' publications and presentations, before the academic can go public with their studies and can simply deny approval if they wish.

In effect, the funders control both the project and the researcher.

The problem is that research is seen as a commodity that can be bought and owned, rather than information that should be freely available for serious inquiry and the public good.

QPEC sees two problems arising from Dr Gilbert's case. One is that it may well be remembered and treated just as the "police issue" or the "gangs issue," when it is actually indicative of a deep-seated injustice that runs right across the tertiary education sector.

The second is the danger to the role of tertiary institutions as "critic and conscience of society." Media reports rightly recall this item as a clause in the Education Act of 1989. But the current Government has started moves to review the Act. It has already restructured tertiary institution councils to ensure extensive control by government. And it clearly countenances restraints on scientists' right to make public statements.

In other words, academic freedom is at stake.

QPEC considers that the restrictions on Dr Gilbert's research represent a serious threat to scholarship in New Zealand, which could be addressed by a model of funded research designed to serve the public interest.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: 'the everrumble' by Michelle Elvy

This is Zettie’s tale from her birth date in 1965 through to her ‘passing’ at the age of 105. Yet, Zettie’s tale is our own tale, as humans still all-too-often hell-bent on destroying our environment and therefore our fellow creatures – and thus – symbiotically and inevitably – ourselves. More>>

Tuia 250: Endeavour Arrives At Tūranganui-A-Kiwa

The co-chair for Tuia 250 national commemorations says it's not a bad thing if people want to express their views, as a replica of Captain Cook's Endeavour is today set to make its way into Tūranganui-a-Kiwa... Local iwi oppose the ship's visit and have refused to do a pōhiri. More>>

ALSO:

On 7–19 October: NZ Improv Fest Turns (It Up To) Eleven

The New Zealand Improv Festival (NZIF) is celebrating eleven years by going 110%; this national festival has increased to two weeks of improvisation with guests from all over the world. More>>

ALSO:

NZ On Air: $12 Million For Stimulating Content For Tamariki

New Zealand tamariki have much to be excited about, with just under $12.5 million in funding confirmed for a raft of new screen and music content including a new daily kids quiz show. More>>

ALSO:

Master Storyteller: Author Jack Lasenby Remembered

Jack Lasenby died on Friday, aged 88. He was the author of children's books, novels, and short stories. He was the winner of numerous awards, including the Prime Minister's award for Literary Achievement in 2014. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland