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Performance-based Research Fund fine-tuned

3 June 2005

Performance-based Research Fund fine-tuned

Education Minister Trevor Mallard has approved the Tertiary Education Commission’s decisions that refine the 2006 Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF), and change some of the rules governing the fund.

“I’m confident these improvements will make the 2006 PBRF Quality Evaluation more straightforward, reduce compliance costs and improve the integrity of the evaluation results,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The changes will ensure all tertiary education organisations participate on an equitable basis, they address concerns about some researchers’ privacy, and also help identify and encourage new and emerging researchers.”

The PBRF supports world-class research at tertiary level in order to help underpin New Zealand's economic and social development and economic growth. It will be fully in place by 2007, when it will be government’s major method of funding and rewarding research in tertiary education organisations. In that year the Student Component top-up funding will be fully rolled into the PBRF.

Under Budget 2005 the fund will increase by $75.5 million over the next four years, raising it to $193.7 million by 2008-09.

“I’ve been impressed with the commitment of the tertiary education sector to the PBRF. I look forward to the receiving the 2006 quality evaluation results and seeing how the quality of research is improving,” Trevor Mallard said.

Trevor Mallard’s decisions come after close consultation with the tertiary education sector through a sector reference group of top academics, supported by the Tertiary Education Commission.

“The sector reference group have done a fine job collecting a wide range of views and turning them into solid recommendations for Quality Evaluation refinements. I am grateful for all their hard work,” Trevor Mallard said.

Of the tertiary education sector’s 121 recommendations for fine-tuning the PBRF, 99 were fully accepted, while most of the remainder have been accepted in part.

Full information on the decisions is available in two reports issued today. The Report of the Sector Reference Group gives the background of the changes, and its companion report, The Response of the Steering Group, discusses the way forward for the 22 recommendations accepted in part.

The reports are available on www.tec.govt.nz and http://www.beehive.govt.nz/mallard

The specific decisions include: New categories added to the existing A, B, C and R grades that researchers receive. The C(NE) and R(NE) grades will identify new and emerging researchers. Most researchers who participated in 2003 will not be required to participate in the 2006 Quality Evaluation. If they don’t take part, they will retain the grade they received in 2003.

Tertiary education organisations will no longer need to score their researchers’ evidence portfolios before they’re submitted to the Tertiary Education Commission. Changes to the reporting of the results, which will help ensure the privacy of researchers working in small academic units or subject disciplines.

A requirement that tertiary education organisations participate in all three PBRF components or none after 2006. This will apply to the 2007 funding year onwards. If tertiary education organisations decide not to participate in the 2006 Quality Evaluation, they will not be able to receive any PBRF funding until the next round, currently scheduled for 2012.

ENDS

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