Attachment: CAPA Paper
In 1997, the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) Published the Model Code For The Conduct Of Postgraduate Research and Statement of Minimum Resources. This was followed in 1998 by A Strategy Guide to Postgraduate Supervision including the 1998 Model Code for the Conduct of Postgraduate Research and Statement of Minimum Resources. A revised statement was again published in 2004.
CAPA’s minimum resource standards have proven to be an extremely successful initiative in providing universities with a reasonable guide for the provision of resources for postgraduates. CAPA’s minimum resource statements are informed by the assumption that the provision of adequate resources is vital to the effective delivery of postgraduate programs, and for the production and dissemination of quality research. Many universities now have effective measures in place to support students with the costs and resources for research, based on a consistent, transparent, institution-wide policy.
32 of 38 institutions evaluated now have minimum resource policies or statements in place. This in itself marks a significant achievement for CAPA and its efforts in support of postgraduates. The number of policies in place now provides the opportunity to begin benchmarking minimum standards in resources for postgraduate study, and to identify and promote examples of best practice.
A summary table of findings for this report is included as Appendix III. The table outlines features of minimum resource policies, and the kind of undertakings made in support of minimum standards of resources for postgraduate study.
This report includes an invitation for feedback, both from institutions and individuals, on the standards outlined in CAPA’s Statement of Minimum Resources for Postgraduate Study, along with those addressed in this report. Feedback will assist in the ongoing development of CAPA’s minimum resource standards, and also allow institutions the opportunity to offer correction or clarification on the standards identified where needed.
It is important to emphasise that the aim of this report is to review the policies in place to help assure institution-wide minimum resource standards for postgraduate study. It is not intended as a guide to the actual resources and facilities in place at particular institutions, nor their quality or the levels of investment committed to sustain them. Evaluating the compliance of institutions with their own policies and guidelines is beyond the scope of this paper.
The actual resources available in support of postgraduate study will vary significantly between schools, departments and faculties both within and between institutions. It is important therefore that postgraduates obtain a realistic assessment of the resources available in the academic units relevant to them, and their “fit” with the anticipated resource needs for study in each individual case. Where detailed and unambiguous minimum resource standards are in place (and adhered to), this should be a straightforward and constructive exercise.