BLOG: Top marks for the Law School’s research

Associate Dean (Research) Dr Joel Colón-Ríos discusses how the Faculty of Law’s leading research helps improve student learning.

A profile image of Joel Colon-Rios.

Kia ora koutou,

Our Law School recently received some excellent news. We were the top performers in the 2018 Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) Quality Evaluation.

The PBRF evaluation is run by the Tertiary Education Commission every six years, and assesses the calibre and significance of research produced by universities. Part of the funding that universities receive from the government is determined by this process. PBRF involves the preparation of detailed portfolios, beginning years before the submission date, describing academics’ research achievements. Victoria University of Wellington also performed as the top New Zealand university overall. This is the second time in a row that our Law School and University have taken top honours.

So, why is the PBRF ranking relevant to you as a student?

In addition to teaching law, your lecturers are all active researchers.  They have a duty as legal scholars to contribute to the development of different areas of the law. This often includes criticising judicial approaches, legislative proposals, and offering novel solutions to legal problems. Their work is published in journal articles, books, chapters, reports, and presented at academic conferences. You can find a year by year list of our publications here. Or check out the biographies of our Faculty of Law academics here.

The PBRF result shows that your lecturers are not only excellent teachers, but excellent researchers as well. 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. They use their research experience to improve your learning and help you to think critically.

The quality of the scholarship produced by Victoria University of Wellington’s legal academics is also important when we are recruiting new lecturers.  We’ve been fortunate in our ability to hire top academic talent. The quality of the scholarship produced here is part of what makes our Faculty an attractive place to work, as well as study.

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 also produced.

Dr Joel Colón-Ríos, Associate Dean (Research)