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Dr. Ron Smith

Performance-Based Research Funding: why it should end now

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By Dr Ron Smith University of Waikato

New Zealand Universities are now well into a third round of Performance-Based Research Funding (PBRF) evaluations which on present trends will be even more protracted and time-wasting than the previous two. Having regard to the manifest defects of the process, both conceptually and practically, and to the likelihood that it has produced no net financial benefit to the universities, this is altogether to be regretted. Indeed, it is a sad testimony to the tolerance or powerlessness of university staffs, that PBRF has persisted this long. It is to be hoped that it gets no further and that the 2012 round will be the last. At very least, the reliability and validity of the judgements made, ought to be subjected to independent scrutiny before any decision is made to continue what is an entirely lamentable practice.

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