Not so excellent research in Australia

Muted among the ERA applause is much mention of disciplines where Australian achievement is not addressed in awe.

What’s happening in education: The subject might come up at the Australian Council of Deans of Education seminar today, on the community status of school teachers.

Just two universities, out of 39 were rated “well above world standard” (five) for the broad (two-digit code) research field of education, the University of Melbourne and UNSW.

There are not many more at the specific research discipline (four-digit code) level. Other than UNSW and Uni Melbourne, the only fives are for “specialist studies in education” at the University of Sydney and Australian Catholic University.

As for “above world standard” (four) – just eight of 39 make the all-of-field cut, Uni Sydney, ACU, Deakin U, Monash U, QUT, Uni Queensland, UWA, Macquarie U.

Better news on engagement and impact: Education faculties appear to do better in the new community engagement and impact research assessment, being released this morning. On engagement 12 rate high, 19 medium and only seven low. On impact 17 are high, 19 medium and two low. The third category, approach to impact, which measures engagement with research users is not as flash, five universities rate high for impact, 21 are medium and 12 are low.

And on ERA it could be worse: In fact, it is in the built environment and design category, where none of 19 assessed institution rated at well above world standard. Only the University of Melbourne and UNSW scored a five at the specific discipline level, for urban and regional planning.

And in the broad creative arts and writing field only UNSW is rated well above world standard, out of 35 universities submitting research results.


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