Changes to University Councils No Surprise
Minister announces changes to University Councils with the next Tertiary Education Strategy (TES)
Stephen Joyce took the opportunity this morning at Victoria University of Wellington where he released the draft Tertiary Education Strategy for 2014-2019 to also announce the much-rumoured proposals to alter the composition of university councils.
Tertiary Education Union national secretary, Sharn Riggs said that while disappointing, the announcement was no surprise. “The minister has been keen on turning universities into businesses with no links to their communities for some time now. His view is that increased productivity and profitability in the ITP sector where similar changes were made two years ago, has nothing to do with the efforts of staff and other stakeholders but is the result of stripping out the representative structures on the councils”.
The new TES sets the framework for the coming five years and is open for consultation for six weeks. Sharn Riggs says that the TES appears to focus solely on the business and economic advantages of skills acquisition and the economic benefits of a tertiary education to the individual and the country. “The Minister’s speech to tertiary education leaders this morning mentioned the word ‘society’ just once. Tertiary education has many benefits, not just the economic ones and this has to be factored into any strategy if it is to be successful”.