Victoria University of Wellington best in NZ for research quality in Law

Victoria University of Wellington has the highest proportion of world-class legal researchers in the country, according to the Tertiary Education Commission’s latest evaluation.

An aerial photo of Wellington harbour.

The Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) quality evaluation occurs every six years, and the 2018 results were made public last week. Academic staff submit research portfolios for assessment. The best are ranked either ‘A’, for world-class research and a significant contribution to the New Zealand or international research environment, or ‘B’, for high-quality research recognised at a national or international level.

Victoria University of Wellington ranked first in Law for both its proportion of A-ranked researchers and proportion of A- and B-ranked researchers combined.

At Victoria University of Wellington, 90 percent of researchers in the Law subject area received either an A or B, followed by 79 percent at the next highest performing university.

Across the six universities offering Law, 76 percent of Law researchers received an A or B ranking. Across all universities and all subjects, 59 percent of researchers received an A or B ranking.

“This is an exceptional result for Law at Victoria University of Wellington – my warmest congratulations to all involved,” says Professor Mark Hickford, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law. “As the overall results show, the quality of legal research in New Zealand is high, so to have such a decisive lead is a remarkable achievement.”

Dr Joel Colón-Ríos, Associate Dean (Research) at the Faculty of Law, says students benefit when their lecturers are not only excellent teachers but excellent researchers as well. “It means you are being taught by legal scholars who are on top of new developments in their areas and are part of the academic discussions that frequently lead to those developments. As a law student at Victoria University of Wellington, you are part of a research-intensive community in which legal knowledge is not only transmitted but produced.”

All figures sourced from the Tertiary Education Commission’s website. Totals include funded Quality Categories only. Information on Quality Categories is on page 11 of the Tertiary Education Commission’s report Improving Research Quality: The interim results of the PBRF 2018 Quality Evaluation (PDF, 3.3 Mb)