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Court injunction casts doubt over rankings

Hon Bill English MP

National Education Spokesperson

18 March 2004

Court injunction casts doubt over university rankings

The High Court injunction preventing the release of comparisons between New Zealand and British universities throws the validity of the ranking of universities and their staff for the Performance Based Research Fund into doubt, says National's education spokesman Bill English.

"If the information is found not to have been of sufficient quality to compare New Zealand universities with their British counterparts then serious questions must be asked about the integrity of the processes that have been used," says Mr English.

The injunction was sought by the University of Auckland and Victoria University, and was granted in the High Court at Auckland yesterday.

"New Zealand's young graduates want to be able to compete on the world stage. It is very important to them how our universities compare internationally.

"It seems that the Tertiary Education Commission has not analysed their data in a way that is robust enough to bear international comparison.

'If the data collected for these rankings is not up to scratch then the whole methodology of the TEC is thrown into doubt.'

"These kinds of teething problems do not bode well for the future of the Performance Based Research Fund," said Mr English.


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