The PBRF and its Implications for Academics (in the Humanities and Social Sciences)


  • Bruce Curtis University of Auckland



This paper discusses the likely impacts of the Performance-Based Research Fund. 2003 Quality Exercise on academics in New Zealand. It is argued the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) is one of a number of developments within the 'new managerialism' of public institutions that stands to downgrade forms of professional control enjoyed by academics (Abbott, 1991). The downgrading of academic professions internationally is well-documented (Halsey, 1992) and it would be surprising if academics in New Zealand were exempt from these pressures. More unanticipated, however, is the extent to which academics, at least within the humanities and social sciences of universities, pursue strategies that collectively undercut existing forms of professional control over labour markets, peer review and public esteem.


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Author Biography

Bruce Curtis, University of Auckland