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Experts to advise on performance-based research

28 June 2002 Media Statement

Experts to advise on performance-based research fund

The new approach to funding research within the tertiary education sector would developed with the assistance of experts with knowledge of the sector, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey said today.

The development of a Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) will complement Centres of Research Excellence funding as part of a new integrated funding framework for tertiary education announced in the Budget. The new fund will based upon the phased transfer of funding from the current degree ‘top ups’, supplemented by new funding rising to $20 million a year from 2006.

Steve Maharey said the Performance-Based Research Fund would increase the average quality of research and improve the quality of researcher training, whilst underpinning the existing strengths of tertiary education research.

“New Zealand’s tertiary education sector produces much high-quality research and has world-class researchers in many fields. These successes have occurred in the context of a funding system that provides little incentive for excellence, little long-term security in funding, and a lack of transparency and accountability for the ways in which research funds are spent.

“By modifying the ways in which research funding is allocated across the tertiary sector, the government intends to provide incentives and means that will allow the tertiary sector to not only maintain, but improve upon, the contributions it makes through research.

“In order to achieve the best possible system of performance indicators and peer assessments, the Ministry of Education and Transition Tertiary Education Commission (tTEC) are together convening a working group with a range of research experience to provide advice on the detailed design of the PBRF. The group meets for the first time today. There will also be wide engagement with tertiary education bodies, drawing on the work that has already been done in the tertiary sector to promote research excellence.

“With the expertise and experience of those on the ground, we can achieve a system based firmly in both ideals and practical concerns. The Performance-Based Research Fund will help us to achieve higher-quality research across the sector, and better results for New Zealand,” Steve Maharey said.


- Professor Marston Conder (University of Auckland) (Chair);
- Professor Dame Anne Salmond (University of Auckland);
- Associate Professor Pare Keiha (Auckland University of Technology);
- Dr Peter Coolbear (Manukau Institute of Technology);
- Associate Professor Warwick Slinn (Massey University);
- Professor Steve Weaver (University of Canterbury);
- Mr John Patrick (University of Otago);
- Dr Tricia Harris (AgResearch and former member of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission); and
- Dr Andrew Cleland (Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand).


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