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Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey.

Research evaluation shows solid quality gain

The quality of Massey University research and researchers has significantly increased over the past six years, the Government's national ratings system shows. Massey has the highest number of internationally ranked researchers in its key areas of strength – health, design, agriculture and veterinary sciences – in New Zealand.

The quality evaluation score for Massey – the most significant of the three components of the Performance-Based Research Fund run by the Tertiary Education Commission – rose by just over 10 per cent, compared to the previous evaluation in 2006.

Massey will get the third largest share – $34.6 million – of the $262.5 million contestable research fund that is distributed annually among tertiary education organisations. Nearly half of the more than 1000 Massey research portfolios are rated as being of international standing in their field. The university has a 40 per cent increase in A-ranked researchers.

Vice Chancellor Steve Maharey says the result is a very good one and tribute to the hard work and expertise of staff. "The results demonstrate that Massey is making a signature contribution to the future of New Zealand," Mr Maharey says. "We promote the highest standards of research and scholarship and aim to be a world leader in our areas of specialisation, and provide the expertise that New Zealand is best known for around the world – agri-food, design, health and people-focused research. What drives us is our capacity to define the future of our nation and our commitment to taking what is special about New Zealand to the world.

"The evaluation confirms much of what we already knew: We have some extraordinary emerging young researchers and we attract highly-talented staff who want to join the university and work with those who are recognised as world leaders in their fields.

"We submitted staff evidence portfolios to 96 per cent of the 42 subject areas, which speaks to the breadth and depth of our academic authority. More than 73 per cent of our units had a greater than 10 per cent improvement in their aggregated quality score, another powerful indicator of our commitment to developing and sustaining research excellence."

Massey was ranked first in New Zealand for three subject areas. It was ranked in the top three in 14 subject areas, which are: Agriculture and other applied biological sciences; anthropology and archeology; architecture, design, planning and surveying; chemistry; design; human geography; Māori knowledge and development; nursing; other health studies; physics; political science, international relations and public policy; sport and exercise science; veterinary studies and large animal science; and visual arts and crafts. The full report may be read on the commission's website.

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