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Research funding review should be widened

Grant Robertson
Deputy Leader
Tertiary Education, Skills and Training Spokesperson

26 March 2012

Research funding review should be widened

Allegations of gaming of the Performance Based Research Fund at Victoria University indicate a review of the scheme needs to have a wide remit to ensure it is a fair measure of the quality of research, Grant Robertson Labour Tertiary Education Spokesperson said.

“While Victoria University has said it could not find particular evidence of wrong doing here, allegations regarding the potential gaming of the PBRF system at other universities are rife. That’s a concern and one that should raise alarm bells.

“After the current 2012 round there is to be a further review of the system. That review needs to have a wide scope to ensure that PBRF is meeting its goals of promoting and rewarding high quality research,” Grant Robertson said.

"And it needs to happen alongside a wider consideration of how to recognize and reward other important elements of tertiary staff performance, including teaching and work with business and the community."

"There is value in promoting and rewarding quality research, but any measurement system will invite institutions to find ways of maximizing their result.

“Some of this behaviour is fed by the competition between institutions that sees tens of millions of dollars spent on marketing to domestic students.

“Labour favours a more collaborative system for tertiary education in New Zealand. We are a small country that needs to make the most of our scale while still supporting a quality system," Grant Robertson said.


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