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Students Back Call For Representation

Students Back Call For Representation On Tertiary Commission

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is backing a National Party amendment to the Tertiary Education Reform Bill that would put a student representative on the soon to be established Tertiary Education Commission.

“The inclusion of a student representative on New Zealand’s Tertiary Education Commission will simply bring it in to line with similar international commissions. Boards in America, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Israel and Ireland all have student representation on them,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.

“The first TEAC report states that the needs of learners is central to the design of the tertiary education system. Learners needs cannot be heard unless a student is at the table where the decisions are being made,” said Campbell.

“The government keeps stating that the board of the tertiary commission is not representative. Yet most of the tertiary sector stakeholder groups have representation on it with the glaring exception of students. That sends a clear message that student concerns are not important to either the government or the tertiary education commission,” said Campbell.

“Students are pleased that this amendment has been put forward and will be encouraging all parties in parliament to vote for it so that students concerns can be heard in the tertiary reform process. A vote against this amendment will be seen as a vote against students,” said Campbell.

Student Representation on International Tertiary Education Boards

The Board of Regents overseeing universities in California includes a student appointed for a one-year term. Education bodies are represented on Hong Kong’s Education Commission. The intermediary body in the Netherlands consults with students through discussion groups called chambers. Students are non-voting members on the University of North Carolina governing body, and are appointed for one year while other members are appointed for four-year terms. The Network Norway Council advises the Ministry. Most appointments are for three-year terms, but the two student representatives are appointed for one-year terms. The Chairman of the National Association of Students sits ex officio on the Council for Higher Education in Israel. The President of the National Union of Students sits ex officio on Ireland’s Higher Education Authority.

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