Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ideas for NCHER: Extreme Disclosures, International Peer Review, and No Inbreeding

1. Mandatory Disclosures. Here are a couple of links to the relevant regulation in Australia. From the first link:

Universities across Australia will be required to reveal more details than ever before about the way they operate. For the first time, information about each institution, its courses, student to staff ratios, graduate outcomes, fee levels and quality of teaching will be available on a government 'My University' website.

The website will be operational by 2012 when the government will also remove limits on the number of government-funded places universities can offer - a move expected to create a highly competitive market for top students.

Creation of the new website follows the government's decision to provide information about every school in Australia with a `My School' website. [...]

2. International Peer Review. Here's a link to an example from Norway:

An international panel of distinguished physicists has examined 48 research groups involved with basic physics at Norwegian universities and research institutions. Five have been graded as excellent and some are world-leading.

The panel believes Norway is now in a financial position to contribute more actively to the global long-term strategic development of basic physics with up to 160 new physicist positions created at a cost of NOK120 million (US$20.3 million).

The purpose of the evaluation, which took one year, was to have a critical review of Norwegian physics research and give a feedback on how Norwegian research is meeting international challenges.

3. Healthy Recruitment Practices. From the same link as above, a well articulated recommendation from the peer review committee:

The committee is in particular recommending increased mobility, both within Norway and internationally. A major expansion is needed, and the Norwegian pattern of employing own graduate candidates in recruitment positions should be opened up for recruits from outside:

"It is certainly a healthy order to require, as many departments do abroad, that Ph.D students be primarily recruited from other universities than those where they got their master degrees, or that post-docs are not accepted among the PhDs of local production, or that professional positions are widely announced. To contribute ideas from somewhere else is after all one of the most useful things a newly employed scientist can do," the report said.


  1. Sandip said...

    But proposing structural changes (NCHER) to affect the method (educating and training)by which a result is derived (globally relevant work force)seems backwards-the educators and trainers should be first allowed to implement the changes they deem necessary and the structural changes should then be designed to facilitate the process. This way the whole system stays agile.