Make a Difference with Economics Awards

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Make a Difference with Economics helps economics students to explore real world applications of their studies. The Productivity Commission is proud to support this year's short term case competition. The topic provided is: “Research + Teaching: A Good Bundle?”

The Commission has been asked to investigate in its New Models of Tertiary Education inquiry how current and emerging trends may drive changes in models of tertiary education. One current feature of the New Zealand tertiary system is that New Zealand universities (like universities in Australia and some US states such as Massachusetts) are required to undertake research alongside teaching.

New Zealand’s Education Act states that “their research and teaching are closely interdependent and most of their teaching is done by people who are active in advancing knowledge” (s 162)

The idea of research-led teaching is deeply embedded in the culture of New Zealand universities and is a defining feature of their business model. The Tertiary Education Union (TEU) has commented that research “has become so ingrained in New Zealand’s universities that for many institutions it would be teaching, not research, they would cut” (2014).

The task is to provide advice to the Productivity Commission about the bundling of research and teaching at universities in New Zealand. Entrants have been asked to develop a 1500-word report that analyses the following: What are the advantages and disadvantages of bundling together research and teaching at universities in New Zealand? Over a 3 week period, they will work in a team of 4 with the guidance of a MADE facilitator to determine the effectiveness of their analysis and suggested solution. Finalists will present their solutions at the awards night.

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