Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Minister, size does matter!

Minister, size does matter!

13 March 2014

A radical proposal to change university and wānanga governance, introduced by Tertiary Minister Steven Joyce as “moderate”, has been rejected by students as dangerous and extreme.

The Education Amendment Bill (No.2) would reduce the size of the governing board of the institutions, called the Council, from the current twelve to twenty members to between eight and twelve. It removes all nominated stakeholder representation, apart from those appointed by the Minister himself. The Minister’s appointees which currently constitute twenty percent of the Councils will increase to at least a third, and as much as 40% of the total.

“Having such a large proportion of Ministerial appointees is dangerous to the values that underpin our institutions of higher education, such as a commitment to academic freedom and to being a critic and conscience of society. They also risk making the universities subservient to the whims of the Minister, rather than engaging in the nimble, responsive and effective performance that he claims to seek”, said Daniel Haines, President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

“In addition, the Minister’s own record on appointments is shameful. Just sixteen percent of his appointments are women, although women are 60% of university students. He’s appointed just one Māori and no Pasifika. Eighty-six percent of his appointments are CEOs, company directors, accountants or commercial lawyers. He has appointed one one with a background in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (so-called “STEM”) subjects.

“The proposed Councils are extremely small by international standards. There is not a single university in the world’s top 200 that has a Council as small as eight. Most of the world’s top universities have both larger Councils than New Zealand universities (Oxford, 23, Cambridge 25, MIT, 72, Harvard, 32, Stanford, 33…) and all have guaranteed stakeholder representation.

“Well, Minister, size does matter. The current Council allows us to get the right perspectives around the table and reflect the diverse communities that are served by our institutions.

“Modern business thinking is that listening to more people is important, the global financial crisis is a very real example of what can happen when small homogenous Boards engage in group-think. Exposure to a plurality of ideas is what will make our Councils take good decisions, the Minister’s proposals will work in the opposite direction”, says Haines.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: From Here And There

Being Chinese: A New Zealander’s Story
by Helene Wong.
This is the fascinating story of Helene Wong, born in 1949 in Taihape to Chinese parents: her mother, born soon after her parents migrated here, and her father, born in China but sent to relatives in Taihape at seven to get an education in English. More>>

Chiku: Hamilton Zoo's Baby Chimpanzee Named

Hamilton Zoo has named its three-month-old baby chimpanzee after a month-long public naming competition through the popular zoo’s website. The name chosen is Chiku, a Swahili name for girls meaning "talker" or "one who chatters". More>>

Game Over: Trans-Tasman Netball League To Discontinue

Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have confirmed that the existing ANZ Championship format will discontinue after the current 2016 season, with both organisations to form national netball leagues in their respective countries. More>>

NZSO Review: Stephen Hough Is Perfection-Plus

He took risks, and leant into the music when required. But you also felt that every moment of his playing made sense in the wider picture of the piece. Playing alongside him, the NZSO were wonderful as ever, and their guest conductor, Gustavo Gimeno, coaxed from them a slightly darker, edgier sound than I’m used to hearing. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: King Lear At Circa

In order to celebrate it's 40th birthday, it is perhaps fitting that Circa Theatre should pick a production of 'King Lear,' since it's also somewhat fortuitously Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. If some of the more cerebral poetry is lost in Michael Hurst's streamlined, full throttle production, it's more than made up for by plenty of lascivious violence designed to entertain the groundlings. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Tauranga Books Festival

Escape to Tauranga for Queen’s Birthday weekend and an ideas and books-focused festival that includes performance, discussion, story-telling, workshops and an Italian-theme morning tea. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news