Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 1
Plans to remove staff, student and community voices from the governing councils of universities and wānanga will go before parliament this year.
The minister of tertiary education, Steven Joyce, announced on Tuesday that he intends to proceed with his proposals to cut the size of university and wānanga councils, and to remove seats set aside for elected staff, student and community representatives. His announcement followed a consultation process in which 2000 people and organisations overwhelmingly opposed the proposals.
NZUSA, the national student organisation, Academic Freedom Aotearoa and TEU responded saying they would run a campaign to prevent the proposals passing into law. They said the minister’s proposed model of governance is not appropriate for universities, wānanga or polytechnics, or for the promotion of academic freedom.
Staff students and institutions all rejected the minister’s plans:
- NZUSA called them ill-considered and unnecessary, and inconsistent with international norms and international best practice.
- Academic Freedom Aotearoa said the changes are an attack on academic freedom and do not provide enough separation between universities and government.
- TEU said they were a power grab and an attack on democracy.
- OUSA said the changes will make councils less responsive and less able to deal with change.
- The University of Auckland’s vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said increasing the government’s influence over universities would harm their international reputation.
The minister says the changes will be included as part of an Education Amendment Bill which will be introduced to Parliament soon. If passed, universities and wānanga will transition to new councils by 2016.
Also in Tertiary Update this week:
- Dunedin money could go to living wage not rugby franchise
- UCOL staff see red, wear red over 0% pay offer
- Public education workers get the lowest pay rises
- Hectic year ahead for the economy
The TPP’s economic benefits are less than a quarter of those the government has claimed – and the proposed trade deal would impose serious costs. A detailed review of that study led by Dr Geoff Bertram concludes that a third of the stated benefits should not be counted at all as they are outside established economic theory – The Sustainability Council
For the price of a flat white or a bottle of beer each week you could get higher wages, an on-call work advocate,mediator and employment lawyer – in case of emergencies – along with a swag of discounts with participating businesses – Fairfax
Massey University’s campus passports offer the public the chance to try out higher-level education for a fraction of the price of enrolled scholars and without the end-of-course assessments. However, student leaders say the scheme could see fulltime, full fee-paying students suffer, with the passports devaluing degrees by offering dummy-runs of study without the drudgery – Manawatu Standard
A survey suggests politicians overstate the public’s desire for vocational view of higher education. Seeking to gauge how to rebuild public support for higher education, a survey project finds that Americans have less of a vocational view of college than their leaders do – Inside Higher Ed