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


Legal Settlement Warning to Universities

The recent out of court settlement reached between Victoria University of Wellington and four Environmental Studies students is a warning to all Education providers. "Regardless of the outcome of this case, the willingness of students to legally challenge their institutions sends a clear message to these institutions - get your house in order" said Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association President Hamish Hopkinson. "While we do not support legal action and actively dissuade people from going to court, we recognise that frustrated students will continue to see it as a last resort."

Since this court case was started, institutions have strengthened their internal quality procedures, which are assisted where there are universal Students' Associations, throughout the country. Hopkinson says these procedures offer the best avenue for resolving problems. "This court case has dragged on for years. The legal process by itself does not ensure the quality qualification students study for." Hopkinson says he would caution against future legal challenges. "Aggrieved students should see their association for advice."

Hopkinson is also concerned for the effect that legal action has on current students. The Environmental Studies degree at Victoria was completely re-worked yet the students studying towards it now have been tarred by media coverage of problems with a course seven years ago. "While some people may feel justifiably aggrieved, the longer term effect is the devaluation of similar degrees for consequent students."

"We call for an Education Ombudsman, independent of the institutions where, if internal mechanisms fail, aggrieved students can turn" argued Hopkinson. "When most students are paying $3000 a year in fees and some as high as $15,000, all students are going to demand greater levels of quality." But Hopkinson says it's not just because of fees. "Students deserve top quality even when society properly values and funds education. We are opposed to seeing education as a product - to be bought and sold. Such a notion fails to see the fundamental value to society of education. Education is an ends in itself, not simply a means to a better income".

For further information email:
Chris Hipkins, Education Vice-President:

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Tom Scott's Avantdale Bowling Club: The 10th Annual Taite Music Prize Announced

The Taite Music Prize 2019 ceremony also saw the presentation of the Auckland Live Best Independent Debut, Independent Spirit Award, and Independent Music NZ Classic Record award. More>>


Elisabeth Calder: Gifted Editor And Publisher To Receive Honorary Doctorate

The English editor and publisher who discovered some of the greatest writers of our times, including Salman Rushdie, Julian Barnes and Anita Brookner, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) by the University of Canterbury (UC) at the University’s Arts and Science graduation ceremony on 18 April. More>>

Howard Davis: Charlie Parker With Strings - Live!

Hear these swinging rhythms with lush strings and a twist of bebop when Dick Oatts performs Charlie Parker with Strings accompanied by the New Zealand String Quartet and Jazz Ensemble, Musical Director Rodger Fox. More>>

Disaster Response: Canterbury Quakes - 'Widespread Adverse Effects' On Mental Health

The researchers noted that while support services such as free counselling exist, New Zealand's public health services are already under strain and even small increases in demand may result in a considerable extra burden for health workers. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland