Steven Joyce’s announcement today that he will reduce the size of the governing councils at universities and wānanga, and remove seats from local staff, students, and community members is a power grab, says TEU president Lesley Francey.
“He is wresting control of universities and wānanga into the hands of his own ministerial appointees and of business supporters.”
“As the minister notes himself, New Zealand’s universities and wānanga are already financially stable and perform well internationally. There is no justification for these proposals, other than silencing local community voices that do not support the minister’s own economic vision,” said Lesley Francey.
“We regard any move to replace locally-elected and chosen community, staff and student representatives with a council made of ministerial appointees and business leaders as an attack on democracy and on academic freedom,” said Lesley Francey.