Persistence in doctoral research: analysing the impact of the PBRF on the retention of doctoral students Publications
This report examines the factors that influence the retention of doctoral students in tertiary study – where retention is defined as a doctoral candidate continuing in study in the next year or completing their doctorate. In doing so, this study analyses what initial impact, if any, the introduction of the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) has had on the retention of doctoral candidates in study.
Author(s): Warren Smart, Tertiary Sector Performance Analysis and Reporting, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: December 2007
- The results of the analysis suggest that the introduction of the PBRF has been associated with a small, but statistically significant, impact on the likelihood of retention of doctoral students in New Zealand.
- The study found that the impact of the PBRF on the likelihood of retention varied depending on the study load and the age of the doctoral students. The likelihood of retention for younger full-time students was found to have increased slightly since the PBRF was introduced. This may reflect better pastoral care and/or selection of doctoral students following the introduction of the PBRF.
- The likelihood of retention for older part-time doctoral students decreased slightly in the years following the introduction of the PBRF.
- Pasifika and Asian students had a slightly lower likelihood of retention than European students. Students who studied in the fields of science, agriculture and health had slightly higher likelihood of retention than students in the subject area of society and culture.
- The explanatory power of the model was relatively low, indicating that factors outside of the model are important determinants of the likelihood of retention of doctoral students.