Hard numbers: UNSW proposes academic performance measures

UNSW wants to roll-out quantitative teaching and research benchmarks for academics, as part of the university 2025 strategy. “Academics have told us that they want a more formal quantitative way to measure what ‘good’ looks like in their discipline at their academic level,” PVC Academic Excellence Anne Simmons says. Once in place the benchmarks will be used in annual staff appraisals.

The process started over a year ago, with plans to manage staff reviews circulating a year back. University management has now developed performance requirements for all academic levels, which are out for consultation.

This will not take long if staff agree with the National Tertiary Education Union. According to the comrades, the proposed targets are “unreasonable and unachievable,” will increase workloads, lead to bullying and “undermine the real work needed for academic excellence.”


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