Attachment: CAPA Submission
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) welcomes the opportunity to address the RQF Preferred Model Paper. This submission will focus on our core concerns with the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Group (EAG) as they relate to Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students. We view the resolution of these concerns as paramount if the RQF is to truly improve the overall quality of research conducted at Australian universities.
CAPA is of the view that, should these concerns not be addressed, the exercise of implementation and compliance with the RQF will cease to have any degree of relevance for HDR students, as they will receive no benefit from its implementation, either now or in the future. This is of concern, not only to CAPA, but also to the sector, as the aim of any research support should be to encourage the next generation of researchers. The exclusion of HDR students and other researchers not nominated for inclusion in the RQF will limit the viability and attraction of working and researching within Higher Education in Australia.
As such, CAPA is forced to view this RQF Preferred Model in the same manner as we regard the current Research Training Scheme (RTS); that is, as a scheme to be worked around rather than worked with. This position is partially derived from the fact that key recommendations from not only CAPA, but also other key stakeholders in the sector, have been ignored without explanation or reason in the Preferred Model Paper.