Setting research standards: a task for TEQSA

There is not much concern* about a minimum research requirement for universities to keep the title in the new threshold standards bill – question is how to set it

The threshold standards bill leaves this to enforcement agency TEQSA, but unless it wants to establish its own metrics the Australian Research Council has some handy.

As Western Sydney U suggests in its submission to the Senate committee considering the bill, it should include “explicit reference” to using the Australian Research Council’s Excellence for Research in Australia.

If TEQSA did adopt ERA’s “world standard” nobody will accuse it of elitism – it’s ARC speak for average (CMM October 12). There’s also a bit of an issue with ERA in general.

The ARC is reviewing the metric and submissions reported in CMM are not exactly awash with enthusiasm. There are a bunch of concerns about discipline assessment, including the way STEM fields (assessed by citation) outperform HASS (peer reviewed). Arcane it is – important it could be for universities which will be assessed on humanities and social science research output.

* Charles Sturt U isn’t happy

Charles Sturt U suggests delaying the new research threshold requirement.

In its submission to the Senate inquiry to the provider category standards bill CSU suggests that the impact of COVID-19 and the “unclear” policy and funding framework for research after 2021 makes the case for a delay. The standards should not apply until 2023 and universities that do not meet the research levels should have five years grace, “before they can be held accountable.”