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Strengthened Accountability Measures Long Overdue

Recent announcements that the Government intends to strengthen legislative provisions regarding the governance of tertiary institutions are a welcome step in the right direction and have been long overdue, according to Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association President Chris Hipkins.

"Over the past few years University Councils have been left completely to their own devices and been allowed to do whatever they please with student and tax-payer funded resources. Any moves by Government to do something about this should be welcomed," Mr. Hipkins said.

"The past National Government took a totally hands-off approach to the tertiary sector, leading to the progressive commercialisation of our polytechnics and universities. The Labour/Alliance Government's change of approach has been incredibly refreshing,"

Mr. Hipkins urged the Victoria University Council to take note of the changes. "The days when University Councils were encouraged to act like businesses and return substantial surpluses are over and I urge Victoria University to reconsider its desire to slash costs in order to make a surplus in future years," Mr. Hipkins said.

"The Government has signalled a change in direction for the sector, however I'm not sure that has yet been embraced by all institutions and that's why it's important to have strengthened accountability measures," Mr. Hipkins said.

"In particular, I would urge Victoria University to take note of the Government's desire for institutions to act with a long-term view when considering resource-allocation decisions. A quick-fix slash and burn to resolve an immediate financial problem is not an acceptable solution," Mr. Hipkins said.

Chris Hipkins President Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (Inc.) Te Ropu Tauira o te Kura Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

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