Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

College of Education secures multi-million dollar research contract

Friday, 13 October 2017 2:31pm

 A contract for a substantial research project ($7.5 million dollars over three years) to be implemented by the Educational Assessment Research Unit (EARU) at the College of Education was recently signed by the Ministry of Education and the University of Otago.

The agreement to fund the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement (NMSSA) is initially for three years with a commitment by the Ministry of Education to a further two years.

Professor Ross Notman, Dean of the College of Education, says the confidence shown by the Ministry of Education in the NMSSA team is reflected in their commitment to fund the second cycle of this project.

“I am very proud of the staff who carry out the project, including those who were involved in securing this significant contract.”

He explained that, although most staff involved in the research were hired specifically for the project, a number of the College lecturing staff are consulted in relation to their specific curriculum areas of expertise.

The project focuses on student achievement across the curriculum in years 4 and 8. It assesses representative samples of New Zealand school students across 200 schools at successive points in time so that:

  • trends in educational performance can be identified and reported;
  • factors that influence student achievement can be identified and reported;
  • research information is available to assist policy makers, curriculum specialists
  • and educators with their planning; and
  • the public has more information about trends in educational achievement.

NMSSA project governor, Associate Professor Jacques van der Meer, emphasises the value of the project to New Zealand. As the Ministry of Education commented to its stakeholders “NMSSA fulfils a unique role in the Ministry’s educational assessment portfolio. Firstly it covers the whole of the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and secondly it is based on the NZC rather than being set by an international understanding of student achievement. It provides a distinct contribution to our understanding of primary achievement through being both comprehensive and locally relevant. It is the only study the Ministry undertakes that looks at achievement against and across the curriculum.”

Jacques also points out that this is one of the largest research projects funded by the Ministry of Education.