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Universities need students

The Minister for Tertiary Education announced today that student voices on University Councils have become a privilege and not a right.

“The OUSA believes the Minister has it wrong; student voices on University Councils are a right, not a privilege”, said OUSA President Ruby Sycamore-Smith.

“The nature of high-speed change in the 21st digital century means good organisations embrace their customers or stakeholders, getting them more involved in decision-making, not less. The Minister’s decision to push students away from the right to be involved makes universities less responsive and less able to deal with rapid changes in student demand.”

“Our student representatives typically care a great deal about both the academic side as well as the business side of Otago University as every dollar spent could be a dollar extra in student fees, loans, holiday savings, family support, or taxpayer support. Students care about value for money.”

“It is a cop out to say that a university may choose to include student representation. That a positive choice has to be made to include students demonstrates that university management and the ministers’ appointees hold more power than ever. Power is much better distributed to those most affected by the institution.”

“Universities need students. Universities are complex and organic organisations and communities. Students need to feel more involved, not less. It is always better to involve those affected by decisions in the process of making decisions. Universities need to hard wire students into their decision-making processes to stay relevant and prosper”, said OUSA President Ruby Sycamore-Smith.

ENDS

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