Increasing the size of the External Research Income component

Consultation on increasing the size of the External Research Income Component

Following the announcement of changes to the PBRF in March 2014, the Government considered, consulted and agreed to one further change: to increase the proportion of PBRF income allocated based on external research income.

The change will increase the proportion of funding allocated to the External Research Income component from 15% to 20% by reducing the weighting of the Quality Evaluation component from 60% to 55%. The value of the Research Degree Completion measure will remain the same, at 25% of total funding.

The Ministry of Education sought feedback on this change from affected tertiary education organisations (TEOs) and science and industry groups from 2 April to 9 May 2014.

A total of 17 written submissions were received from: all 8 universities, 4 institutes of technology and polytechnics, two private training establishments, Federated Farmers, the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) and the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).

Summary of submissions

Overall, there were mixed views on the change among submitters, with many noting both potential benefits and drawbacks. Feedback on this proposed change did not raise any significant issues that were not previously considered when developing the package of changes to the PBRF. Most submitters did not express strong views, suggesting that, in general, the change is perceived as being relatively minor.

Submitters expressed a range of opinions on whether the change will better value user perspectives of research quality. Those who agreed it would better value user perspectives stated that contract research can serve as a proxy for the value that end-users place on research. Submitters who disagreed argued that, because the Quality Evaluation component is a more comprehensive measure of research quality, an increase in the External Research Income component could come at the expense of research quality.

Views were also mixed about whether the change would encourage TEOs to more actively seek out additional research income. Almost half of the submitters agreed it would, while others commented that external research income already provides significant incentives and that most TEOs already actively seek external research income wherever possible.

Some submissions also raised concerns that the change could be costly to TEOs in terms of additional time and resources spent seeking external research income, an increase in pressure on contestable funds and discouraging collaboration between TEOs. Some also suggested that the change would disadvantage TEOs based on their size and discipline mix.

You can view the submissions on the final change to the Performance-Based Research Fund below.

Submissions on the proposal to increase the size of the External Research Income Component

Institutes of technology and polytechnics

Open Polytechnic submission [PDF, 362 KB]

Unitec submission [PDF, 696 KB]

WelTec submission [PDF, 222 KB]

Wintec submission [PDF, 162 KB]

Private training establishments

Good Shepherd College submission [PDF, 208 KB]

New Zealand College of Chiropractic submission [PDF, 232 KB]

Science and industry peak bodies

Federated Farmers NZ submission [PDF, 797 KB]

Health Research Council of New Zealand submission [PDF, 427 KB]

Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand submission [PDF, 215 KB]


Auckland University of Technology submission [PDF, 1.6 MB]

Lincoln University submission [PDF, 398 KB]

Massey University submission [PDF, 443 KB]

University of Auckland submission [PDF, 369 KB]

University of Canterbury submission [PDF, 369 KB]

University of Otago submission [PDF, 504 KB]

University of Waikato submission [PDF, 275 KB]

Victoria University of Wellington submission [PDF, 485 KB]


Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback