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Dunne: Universities need to front up boldly

Dunne: Universities need to front up boldly

The reluctance of New Zealand universities to be benchmarked against British institutions is a matter of concern, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today.

"Intellectual rigour and the realities of a competitive world demand a facing up to such issues, not a running away from them," Mr Dunne said in backing a Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) call for universities to debate the comparison publicly rather than try to close it down.

Auckland and Victoria universities are seeking a High Court injunction stopping the publication in full of a TEC report on a new system ranking tertiary institutions by the number of advanced research degrees completed, and the amount of external research income earned.

"In the end, let's know where we stand. If there are deficiencies, we are then in a position to address them properly; if there are strengths, then we can further build on them.

"But this head-in-the-sand approach serves no one - not the nation, not the universities and certainly not the students," Mr Dunne said.

"If the findings need to be qualified and set in context, then that should be clearly done. Universities are about shedding light on the truth, not shrouding it in darkness."

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