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Costly research metrics ‘little more than a marketing tool’

More than $40 million has been diverted from Australian university research to meet expensive reporting requirements for the federal government’s mandatory research excellence metrics, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

The federal Excellence in Research Australia metrics inventory “may have had its day” after six years and should be scrapped or changed, Vicki Thomson, chief executive of the Group of Eight research-intensive universities, told a public hearing in Canberra.

“Frankly, ERA is a very good marketing tool for universities, but I’m not sure it’s very good for much else,” she said.

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