For over ten years TEU members have been fighting to ensure staff and students have a say in the direction of tertiary education, and this collective action is continuing to pay off.

In a move that will increase both staff and student voice in the running of their institution, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (TOIT) has  appointed staff and student advisors to their council. Long-time TOIT Branch President and senior academic staff member Pamela Fleming has been appointed as Staff Advisor to the institution’s Council until December.

TOIT are moving ahead of law changes won by the TEU that will require staff and student representation on tertiary education institution councils which comes into effect until the end of this year. Elsewhere in the sector Otago Polytechnic has staff and students on their Council, and most universities have elected staff representatives.

Pamela has had extensive educational experience as a senior academic staff member and is passionate about teaching and making a positive difference in students’ lives. She is also a member of the TEU National Advisory Group for the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE).

Pamela believes this new role and changes in the make-up of tertiary education councils will be integral to ensuring both staff and student voice is heard, and to realising the transformative potential of education.

“The creation of these positions on council will be great in terms of having a range of perspectives at the table, and hopefully it willcontribute to better decision making in support of our students – the reason for our existence,” says Pamela.

TEU congratulates Pamela on this exciting new opportunity and commends TOIT on becoming the first tertiary education institution to ensure the participation of staff and students on their council.

TEU members are continuing to push for staff voice indecision-making processes in two other crucial settings – the Reform of Vocational Education and the next Tertiary Education Strategy.

“At the TEU conference, Education Minister Chris Hipkins was clear that TEU members were crucial to the future of quality and accessible tertiary education. Now is the time for Hipkins to step up and make this a reality by ensuring we have legislated and mandated places in all decision-making” says TEU’s National Industrial Officer Irena Brorens.

’This is essential in ensuring that best practice guides decisions and that the needs of students, communities, iwi, and employers will be met.”TEU members will continue meeting their MPs to support greater staff voice indecision making.