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

 

2015: Elton John Plans Wellington Show

After nine years, Elton John and his band will return to Westpac Stadium, Wellington for one spectacular concert! The November 21, 2015 concert will feature iconic hits and classic album tracks from throughout his incredible five-decade career... More>>

Book Awards: Jill Trevelyan's Story Of Peter McLeavey Is Book Of The Year

The story of Wellington art dealer Peter McLeavey and his gallery has won the prestigious New Zealand Post Book of the Year 2014 in a glittering ceremony in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: King Richard

Simon Nathan reviews 'Richard Seddon, King of God’s Own': My father grew up in Wellington during Seddon’s premiership... I can recall him standing under the Seddon statue in the grounds of parliament and telling me that Seddon had more backbone than Sid Holland and all his cabinet colleagues put together.. More>>

8 October: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour Coming To Auckland!

Dainty Group announced today that global superstar Miley Cyrus will bring her BANGERZ TOUR to New Zealand in October this year. This will be Miley’s first ever visit to New Zealand and there will only be one Auckland show before she takes her tour to Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Music: Lorde NZ Tour Confirmed In Four Major Cities!

In what will be her first ever New Zealand headline tour, Frontier Touring and Brent Eccles Entertainment are stoked to bring you four epic shows across the country! The all ages concerts take place late October/ early November in Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Poor Economics

A review of and excerpt from Jonathan Boston and Simon Chapple’s Child Poverty in New Zealand. Review by Marlene Ware. More>>

Head Count: Highest Population Growth Since 2003

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand's estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014. More>>

Fun-Enhancement: Research To Ensure Even Game For Less Skilled Players

A University of Canterbury engineering PhD student is researching sports, such as table tennis, to ensure closer games for both better and less skilled players. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news