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The impact of the Performance-based Research Fund on research at New Zealand universities

16 April 2019
New Zealand Productivity Commission, Level 15, Fujitsu Tower, 141 The Terrace

10.30 am to 12.00 noon


The Performance-based Research Fund (PBRF) was designed to improve the quality of research at NZ universities by funding them on the basis of research performance rather than the number of students. The NZ scheme is an example of the internationally widespread introduction of university performance-based funding schemes, but there is a dearth of evidence of the impact of these schemes. This seminar reviews the insights from a research programme which has evaluated several dimensions of impact of the NZ PBRF scheme. The seminar discusses the features of the NZ scheme, the data and research methods used to evaluate how universities responded to the scheme, the impact on the research quality of universities and disciplines, and on the age distribution of staff. It also critically evaluates the metrics and assessment method used. The proposed future research on the impact of the scheme will also be discussed.    

Image not foundBob Buckle is Professor Emeritus at Victoria University of Wellington. He was Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Victoria Business School, 2008 to 2017; Principal Adviser at NZ Treasury, 2000 to 2008, Chair of the Economic Committee of APEC in 2007 and 2008, Chair of the Government’s 2009-10 Tax Working Group, and Chair of the External Panel for Treasury’s Long-Term Fiscal Statement in 2012. He chairs review teams for EFMD and AACSB and is an ambassador for Victoria’s ‘Great Futures’ scholarships. Bob’s research and teaching in economics and public policy has included macroeconomics, growth, business cycles, fiscal, monetary and tertiary education policy. In 2003 Bob was NZIER New Zealand Economist of the Year; is a Life Member of the New Zealand Association of Economists, and in 2010 received the VUW award for Public Contribution. In 2014 he was made Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for contributions to business and education.

Image not foundProfessor John Creedy’s main research interests are public economics, labour economics, income distribution and the history of economic analysis. Between 2011 and 2017 he was half time at VUW and half time in the Tax Strategy section of the New Zealand Treasury. Before coming to Wellington, he was the Truby Williams Professor of Economics in the University of Melbourne. In 2016, he received the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Economics Award for his work on long-term fiscal policy, his contribution to the development and implementation of tax policy, and his efforts on measuring inequality in New Zealand. Professor Creedy was recently elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi.