Re: Robin Hill's query

Robin Hill (BSRAH@TWP.AC.NZ)
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 13:39:11 +1300

The PCP mail list might not be the place to continue this
discussion.... or is it?

Thanks for the reply, Harry. You are quite correct. Basically we
have a bunch of teachers who do not want to do research - and
attendance at a recent conference on this issue indicated that this
is the case throughout the Polytechnic sector and Teachers Training
Colleges in NZ, and also throughout the New Universities in

In New Zealand, we have an outfit known as the NZ Qualifications
Authority (NZQA), whose standards we must meet if we are to retain
accreditation to provide a degree qualification. Of course the
standards reflect those of the politically powerful university Vice Chancellors
committee. In otherwords, they have convinced NZQA that if
Polytechnics want to offer degrees, then the staff there must
demonstrate tangible research output. (Our stance has been - our
students do the precise equivalent in both content and standard of
work as students at the local university and hence should gain a
degree qualification for doing so).

NZQA, however, have been quite slow in telling us exactly what
they mean by research, and also what the tangible outputs are, that
they seek to audit us by. Just recently it has simply become
apparent that they mean that "our teaching should be supported by a
background of inquiry" but that we will be measured by "printed
output." For our own part, in this Business Studies Department, we
have gained assurances that in-house occasional papers are an
appropriate avenue for this, and that publication in peer reviewed
journals is not the criterion for achievement. Also, within our own
department, we/I have begun to de-emphasise use of the word
"research" and instead emphasise the concept of "inquiry." I think
the staff themselves feel happier with that too. Some of that
"inquiry" might just blossom into peer reviewed publication, in which
case we'll have a celebration, and pat people on the back.

As I said above - I'm not sure this issue is appropriate on the PCP
list. Originally I was just making comment about the affect that
Bannister's 1981 paper has had on clearing some cobwebs out of my own

Dr. Robin Hill

Principal Lecturer & Research Leader
Department of Business Studies
The Waikato Polytechnic
Private Bag 3036
Hamilton 2020
New Zealand

Fax. NZ (07) 834-8802