This study ranged across research teaching and

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This study ranged across research, teaching, and support services and yielded a number of valuable conclusions and recommendations. For example staff/student ratios at Otago are twice those at Essex, and Essex also has a much higher proportion of senior staff. Otago counters this to some degree by employing more tutors than Essex; however, graduate teachers at Essex receive almost twice as much per hour in comparison to their Otago counterparts.
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Curtin University of Technology Document for Internal Use Only Page 18 of 24 Some recommendations for both universities were produced, such as a review of the conditions under which academic staff are employed, examination of practice with regard to the delivery of job transferable skills, better facilities for postgraduate students, and clearer job differentiation for staff. Additionally, areas which could benefit from further research were identified, for example a decline in undergraduate numbers and an increase in graduate students. It was also agreed that a follow up benchmarking exercise would be conducted in three years' time. As a general benchmarking exercise this was quite a success; it identified areas which required improvement, it produced a number of recommendations for change, and it also fostered a mutually beneficial and supportive exchange of ideas between the two institutions. The University of Otago has also been part of a wide-ranging comparative study, covering four Australian and the seven New Zealand universities and focusing on research outputs across a range of departments and divisions. Data were collected on research published, graduate and postgraduate numbers and research expenditure for the years of 1993 and 1994. These data were weighted by dividing research output by the number of equivalent academic staff in each department. A points system was also used in which different types of publication were given different weightings. The final report was circulated amongst heads of department at Otago, who were seen to be in the best position to act on its findings. As one would expect, the generality of the report prevented the formulation of specific recommendations for change. However, as a guide in identifying underperformance in departments or divisions, the report proved very useful for targeting areas requiring further attention.
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Curtin University of Technology Document for Internal Use Only Page 19 of 24 Resource Papers Reading 1 O'Dell, Carla Building on received wisdom, Healthcare Forum journal 36/1 (1993) 17 – 21 O'Dell's article is a very readable introduction to benchmarking, presenting it as a tool of continuous quality improvement which can accelerate the rate of change. The benchmarking process is clearly and systematically described, and common mistakes are listed. Reading 2 Flower, Joe Benchmarking: a conversation with Robert C. Camp Healthcare Forum Journal 36/1 (1993) 30 – 36 Xerox introduced formal benchmarking to US industry, and Robert Camp was closely involved in those early efforts. This article summarises Camp's instructions on how to carry out a benchmarking exercise.
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