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
“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.