Time running out to save uni councils

There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing the student, staff and community reps, cutting the total number of members, and, as a result, increasing the proportion of Ministerial-appointed members.

This is a clear power play from Steven Joyce. University governance and management bodies, staff, and students are all opposed to the changes, and for very good reasons. Even yesterday’s editorial in the NZ Herald called Joyce ‘unfair’ for forcing these changes through.

In the face of such opposition, I’m hopeful that we might be able to force some sort of back down from the Minister. Add your voice to this opposition by submitting now.

The changes are part of the Education Amendment Bill (No 2) which is currently before the Education & Science select committee. Public submissions are open until Wednesday 30 April.

2 Comments Posted

  1. Intriguing comment from the Herald: “It makes sense, of course, for the skills of many graduates to match the requirements of the economy.”

    Not apparently, to meet the needs of society, or to meet the needs of the graduates themselves, or the wider population. Just to meet the needs of the economy.

    Actually I find it astounding that universities could do anything more to meet business needs, given they already bend over backwards to do so. But it’s also astounding that Joyce feels he needs to use government pressure to force businesses from the tertiary education sector to meet the needs of other businesses.

    I would further suggest that if anybody serously thinks making a submission on this will change Joyce’s mind, they themselves need to go back to university, or perhaps some other place where reality is studied.

  2. This is the first I’ve heard of this, and is indeed a worrying development. It’s not hard to see where this is leading – I’d hazard a guess that virtually all decisions made by government bureaucrat-laden academic councils just so happen to benefit big business. And not just any big business, big business that has the government’s ear.

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