Essays on the relationship between the research achievements of academics and student outcomes. (2021)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This study assesses how being taught by “research-active” university departments affects the learning of undergraduate university students. No direct measures of teaching output exist, which makes this research challenging. To overcome this challenge, I proxy for student learning with: i) a measure of student performance in coursework while controlling for high school achievement, in an effort to estimate the value added by tertiary teaching (Chapter-2) ii) student evaluations of lecturers (Chapter-3) and iii) students’ labour market status (Chapter-4). I use detailed data from all New Zealand universities to investigate the effect of department/subject-specific research activity as evaluated by the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) on student ‘pass rates’ (Chapter-2) and student labour market status (Chapter-4). Individual-level pass rates, information on labour market outcomes, and various student characteristics, are obtained from the Integrated Data Infrastructure and merged with PBRF outcomes based on each student’s majoring subject. I also investigate a possible mechanism of effect by directly surveying undergraduate students in a specific department and soliciting their evaluation of lecturers (Chapter-3). Overall, my results suggest that there is no systematic difference between more research-active and less research-active university departments in terms of undergraduate student pass rates and labour market outcomes. This result is reinforced by student evaluations where highly research-active lecturers on average get very similar teaching scores to their less research-active colleagues.
KeywordsResearch, University Teaching, Education Outcomes, Student Evaluations, Labour Market Outcomes
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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