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Steven Joyce tries to silence critics

Grant
ROBERTSON

Tertiary Education Spokesperson


13 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
Steven Joyce tries to silence critics

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce's cuts to membership of university councils is a cynical attempt to silence the voices of the Government’ critics, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

The Education Amendment Bill which pushes these changes through had its first reading in Parliament today.

"There is no evidence to support taking away the rights of students, staff and community representatives to be on councils. Universities are currently well governed by representative bodies. The number of council members fits in the mainstream internationally. This is a solution in search of a problem.

“It is simply about Steven Joyce keeping up National's record of attempting to silence their critics. Be it protest at sea or protest at universities, if people stand up for their rights, National will legislate them away. That is not good enough.

“There is no clamour for this Bill. It has almost no support from the tertiary sector. The country's two biggest universities have outright opposed it. In six universities I visited over the orientation period, I found no staff or students who supported it. Rather they want to keep their voices. Labour will make sure that happens.

“Labour will strongly oppose this Bill. If it is passed we will reverse the legislation. We believe representative councils at tertiary institutions make for a better learning, teaching and research environment. Labour will continue to support the voices of students and staff being heard," Grant Robertson says.

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