Committee requested to defer consideration of Bill
28 March 2001
Select Committee requested to defer consideration of Bill
Representatives of the Association of University Staff (AUS) told the Education and Science Select Committee in Wellington today that the Education Amendment (No.2) Bill posed the greatest threat to the distinctive role of universities since the tertiary education reforms of 1989-90.
AUS Executive Director, Rob Crozier, noted that the tertiary sector section of the Bill was heavily preoccupied with financial ‘risk’, yet ‘risk’ was nowhere defined.
“The proposed legislation gives the Minister of Education the right to dissolve a University Council and replace it with a Commissioner,” said Mr Crozier.
“The concept of having one person running a university with total responsibility for all academic matters in addition to financial is mind-boggling.
“The recently-completed report of the Tertiary Education Advisory Commission, Shaping the System 7.3.01) was released subsequent to the Bill’s introduction. This report calls for …a substantive review…of the tertiary education provisions of the Education Act 1989…with the object of improving the coherence and comprehensibility of these provisions.
“AUS therefore urges the Select Committee to defer consideration of those clauses of the Bill that have the potential to allow for political interference in the administration of universities pending a full and comprehensive review later this year or next,” said Mr Crozier.
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