20 November 2007
CHASS announced today (Tuesday) that it has written to Shadow Minister Kim Carr on ALP plans to replace the Research Quality Framework with a new "streamlined, transparent, internationally verifiable system".
If Labor does win the election next Saturday, CHASS President Professor Stuart Cunningham said that CHASS is well prepared to lead a process of consultation with researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences.
He had written to the Shadow Minister in response to his release laying out Opposition plans for research in Australian universities.
Professor Cunningham described the announcements as modest but welcome: "more evolution than revolution".
He applauded the new funding for mid-career researchers and the increase in support for postgraduate students, and said researchers are awaiting the next installment in Labor plans with a keen sense of anticipation.
"The plan makes sense, but we're disappointed at the complete absence of new funding to tackle chronic problems in teaching and infrastructure," he said.
Professor Cunningham said that ALP plans for a new research assessment exercise were a welcome opportunity for researchers to demonstrate the value of their work, whether expressed in economic, social or cultural terms.
"We full recognize the right of the community to see what they are getting for the support the tax-payer gives to research," he said.
He saw this as a new opportunity for researchers in the humanities, arts and social sciences, and said that the contribution these people made can be overlooked.
"It's a good chance for researchers in our sector to prove the value of their work," he said.
He said the challenge in devising an assessment system is to come up with a process which accurately reflects the quality and value of research, without imposing a heavy administrative burden on universities.
"CHASS is actively canvassing alternatives, drawing on international experience and the views of its members", Professor Cunningham said.
- For interview: Professor Stuart Cunningham 0407 195 304
- For more information, please contact:
- Toss Gascoigne
- Executive Director
- Council of the Humanties, Arts and Social Sciences
- Phone: +61 2 6249 1995