Chapter 4: Research degree completions
4.1The research degree completions (RDC) measure accounts for 25 percent of the total funds to be allocated through the PBRF each year. The use of RDC as a performance measure in the PBRF serves two key purposes:
- It captures, to some degree, the connection between staff research and research training, thus providing some assurance of the future capability of tertiary education research; and
- It provides a proxy for research quality. The underlying assumption is that students choosing to undertake lengthy, expensive and advanced degrees (especially Doctorates) will tend to search out departments and supervisors who have excellent reputations in the relevant fields for high quality research and research training.
4.2To be eligible for the RDC measure, research-based postgraduate degrees (such as Masters and Doctorates) must be completed within a TEO, and meet the following criteria:
- the degree has an externally assessed research component of 0.75 Equivalent Full-Time Student (EFTS) value or more;
- the student who has completed the degree has met all compulsory academic requirements by 31 December of the relevant year; and
- the student has completed the course successfully.
4.3Following extensive work with the sector to improve reporting practices, the TEC has moved to using the SDR for RDC data collection, on which funding decisions are based after TEOs confirm their figures. This new process was first used for the final 2010 funding allocation.