TEAC Leaves Govt Free To Get Rid Of Stakeholders
“TEAC has sidestepped the critical governance question affecting the tertiary sector by recommending that a separate working party reviews the issue,” stated ATSA National Student President Keith Clark.
Perceived governance failures at a few institutions have led to suggestions by some that representative councils should be replaced by small boards of business oriented professionals. “This would prove disastrous for the tertiary sector,” said Clark. “It is true that some councils have not performed as well as others. However, each has a different set of circumstances and problems to overcome. Who is to say that a successful council would have remained successful given different circumstances? Or vice versa?”
“Given that successive Education Ministers have had a set of appointees on each council, (together with the resources of the Ministry of Education, Treasury and the Tertiary Advisory Monitoring Unit) the Government must take some responsibility for non-performance” stated Clark.
Training and learning is an imperative that all students recognise. The Government should continue looking at providing training for all council members. As a first step, current institution councils should be given a comprehensive report on the perceived shortcomings of other councils.
Student council members provide a watchdog service for Government. No council member has more interest than student representatives in seeing the institution do well. Councils need to know what is happening inside institutions at all levels. Only students can provide that perspective.
“This Government must act to protect major stakeholder representation within institutions. Students and staff must certainly be represented,” concluded Clark.