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Cutting funding to longitudinal study “short sighted” says TEU

Cutting funding to longitudinal research shows the government has a basic misunderstanding of the role of tertiary education, says TEU national president Sandra Grey.

Grey says by cutting 5000 children from the Growing Up in NZ longitudinal study shows the government’s competitive funding model lacks wisdom or long-term vision.

The study is New Zealand’s largest longitudinal study. Based at Auckland University, it was meant to follow 7,000 families for the first 21 years of their children’s lives.

Now, after a funding cut from government, the study, which has been going for nearly a decade, will shed 5,000 of its 7,000 children.

Grey says the cut is short-sighted and lacking in wisdom.“Research like this is crucial to our understanding of our community and the world we live in.

“It’s bizarre that such a study would have to contest for funding halfway through its lifetime. Much of the time and energy researchers have invested into those 5,000 families is now lost.”

Grey says the government’s competitive funding model for research does not save money because of all the administration and bureaucracy costs that go with it, and it makes it harder for universities to do important, sustainable, long-term research.

“New Zealand is losing good research because of blinkered government ideology,” she says.

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