Australian Opposition metrics

From: Arthur Sale <>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 09:35:49 +1000

The Australian Opposition has announced that should they win office in a
federal election to be held later this year, they will scrap the
Government&#8217;s planned RQF process (based on peer panels and the
UK&#8217;s RAE), and replace it by a metric-based quality assessment. An
extract from the Shadow Minister&#8217;s speech follows.


Arthur Sale

&#8221;In this regard, Labor has announced that, in Government, we will
be scrapping the Howard Government&#8217;s Research Quality Framework.
The RQF process is cumbersome, costly and threatens to become incredibly
time-consuming. It is neither an efficient nor a transparent way to
allocate valuable research dollars to universities.

In its planned &#8220;Impact&#8221; measure, the Government&#8217;s RQF
would skew funds away from quality research and distort outcomes. A
scheme that emphasises this measure moves Australia away from current
world best practice, and that is something we cannot afford.

The Productivity Commission, in the report that came out today, is also
wary about reliance on the Impact measure in the RQF.

In general terms, the PC has held its line that the RQF is seriously
problematic. It clearly disagrees with the Government. It stresses that
the cost of implementing the RQF &#8220;may well exceed the
benefits.&#8221; Its summation on how things stand is little short of

Labor will work hand in hand with researchers, and their institutions, to
develop a research quality assurance framework that is world&#8217;s best
practice. It will be metrics based. It will be transparent. It will take
due account of differences between disciplines and discipline groups so
that measures are fair, and funding can flow equitably.&#8221;
Received on Wed Jun 20 2007 - 02:45:18 BST

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