[csaa-forum] CHASS on the Preferred Model RQF

Toss Gascoigne director at chass.org.au
Fri Sep 9 16:50:13 CST 2005

Dear csaa-forum

The Research Quality Framework Preferred Model was released today.

CHASS has mixed views on the Model, and a media release from Malcolm Gillies

You are invited to comment to DEST.  The web address for the model and
instructions on where comments should be sent are below.

CHASS and the RQF

CHASS has welcomed today's (Friday) release of the Research Quality
Framework Preferred Model.

Professor Malcolm Gillies, President of CHASS, said he is heartened by the
way the broad range of the humanities, arts and social sciences have been
included in the process

"There are positive signs and this is a document we can work with," he said.
"The issues are complex, and the debate has come a long way in the last 6

He said CHASS recognises a genuine attempt to work across the sector and to
include different kinds of measures for different research fields.

"But the model proposed by the Advisory Group does need further work.  The
approach it takes is too conservative, on nearly every substantive issue."

Professor Gillies said the model suffers from two major difficulties: it
places undue emphasis on the 'quality' of research rather than the 'impact'
it may have; and it has not found an adequate way to measure the
increasingly-significant area of cross-disciplinary research.

"The weighting the model gives to 'impact' means that impact will have only
a small influence when it comes to choosing which research should be
funded," he said.

"The model dwells on the past.  For instance, it will only take into account
'impact' which has already been recorded, rather than any notion of future

He said he was disappointed that statements setting the research in context
were recommended as an optional part of the assessment process, rather than
as a primary and central feature, where CHASS would rather see them.

"There are some good moves in terms of research training, but generally the
model does not sufficiently embrace any notion of building future
capability," he said.

"Our new system should be looking to encourage and reward teams and
institutions that have an eye on the research needs of the future."

Professor Gillies described the proposal to establish 12 panels as 'neither
fish not fowl'.  He said the model has an acknowledged problem with
evaluating cross-disciplinary research.

"The 12 panel proposal will simply maintain a silo effect when Australia
should be seeking to encourage work which takes a multi-disciplinary
approach to solving issues."

The RQF Preferred Model paper is available at:

Making a response to The RQF Preferred Model:  closing date 4 October 2005.
Comments should be emailed to:  rqf at dest.gov.au
For information:  Toss Gascoigne  0408 704 442

Toss Gascoigne
Executive Director
Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS)
28 Balmain Cres, ANU, ACT

Postal address
PO Box 8157, ANU, ACT AUSTRALIA 2601

Ph: 02 6249 1995 OR 02 6230 7179
0408 704 442
Fax: 02 6247 4335
Email: director at chass.org.au
Web:  www.chass.org.au
ABN:  75 017 337 844

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